The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) today mentioned that there will be fines for verbal altercation. PBA under the leadership of Chito Narvasa has been getting a lot of fines, to take a look at it: fines imposed by the league in the first three months of the new season have already reached P551, 900.
In the words of former Ginebra star Marlou Aquino, “Ano? Kalahating milyon na agad, tatlong buwan pa lang ang season? Ang laki nun, grabe yun.” Looking at the fines for the first three months of the season with a few more games and playoffs coming and with two more seasons coming our way, 10Million Pesos is a low number.
It is frustrating as a fan of the game to watch games where referees call foul as if it was a violation dribbling the ball. The referees, besides the dribbling violation (where I guess the most consistent call in the league), call flagrant fouls and deliberate foul too often, analyst say that they call that to review the play then they call the foul as a regular foul. They are also calling cheap fouls where players now cannot be as physical as before.
That’s just for the flagrant and deliberate fouls, where we all know that an automatic fine will be given if you were called a flagrant, and even flagrant fouls are called even though it should be an obvious non-call or just a regular foul. To top it all off, fines will be given for verbal altercation; Verbal altercation meaning, in the simplest terms, trash talking. The league is not just getting rid of the physicality of the game but the psychological war happening on the hard court. It is disgusting to know that whenever players trash talk or committed a technical foul will be fined. We all know that coaches or players do that to boost the moral or confidence of the team but now it will be fined.
Imagine a P5,000, rather than that money will be going to the savings of the players, it will now be given to the league just because you argued with the referee. When we watch NBA or other leagues you will see players talk with each other, players talking to referees, players talking to coaches and vice versa, and their league just allows it. Why? IT IS ALL PART OF THE GAME. How can we compete internationally when in our own league the rules are soft, wherein in FIBA competitions, there are a lot of let go plays because the referees allow the players to play.
Basketball is a physical sport, just like the legendary Big J said, “Kung ayaw mo masaktan, mag chess ka nalang,” but by this ruling of the current board of the PBA and management, it is not basketball anymore, it is a modified type of sport where you pay whenever you play hard. There will come a time where bumping, just bumping, will be called foul and the game will be boring. I miss the times when Ronald Tubid claps everytime he fetch an offensive foul and his hard-nose defense, and by this new rule probably we will miss the shouting of Yeng Guiao and the angst of Abueva and Belga. I miss the old PBA, where I watch physical and fast basketball, the way Filipinos play the sport. Now it is stopped by whistles of the referees, the referees dictate the game not the players. Looking forward when we can all watch every team play hard on defense and with all the physicality and wishing we will not say, “I miss PBA already.”