MANILA, Philippines — Alaska’s Cyrus Baguio dodged a bullet on Thursday when the PBA Commissioner’s office decided against suspending him for his hard foul on Talk N’ Text’s Jason Castro.
After meeting with the Aces’ explosive guard in the afternoon and reviewing the play which led to the flagrant foul penalty two, PBA Commissioner Chito Salud believes that Baguio was not intentionally trying to hurt Castro.
“He was indeed going to give Jason Castro a hard foul but realized at the last instant that he no longer had the chance to play for the ball,” said Salud in a statement.
“He tried to check himself but it was already too late to avoid the resulting contact. A close look at the replay confirmed Baguio’s narration.”
Baguio tried to stop a speeding Castro from nailing a layup on the break, but his elbow collided with head instead which sent the Texters’ guard crashing underneath the rim, midway the payoff period of game three Wednesday.
Talk N’ Text took a 2-1 series lead over Alaska with a 93-79 victory.
Salud though there was no “blatant follow through of Baguio’s arm as it hit Castro’s face” and that it was “decidedly sheer momentum on his part that largely caused the hard contact.”
The Commissioner’s office is sticking with the flagrant foul 2 call, though, and has meted out a fine of P30,000 on Baguio, along with other penalties as the series heats up game after game.
Calvin Abueva, who was also ejected on Wednesday for a combination of a flagrant one and a technical foul, was also fined a total amount of P7,400, even as Gabby Espinas owes the league P5,000 for a flagrant one.
For a near scuffle in the third period, PBA also penalized Sonny Thoss, Jared Dillinger and Kelly Williams with a fine of P1,000 each for second motion leading to technical fouls.
Game four of the best-of-seven semifinals series is on Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena.