Brawl mars EAC-Mapua game in NCAA
MANILA, Philippines — A bench-clearing brawl broke out and stopped the game between Emilio Aguinaldo College and Mapua in the NCAA Season 90 men’s basketball tournament Monday at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
The game turned ugly after Generals guard John Tayongtong threw a solid punch at Cardinals’ playmaker CJ Isit that triggered the melee.
The game was stopped with 28.6 seconds left and EAC winning, 86-77.
“It’s an unfortunate thing that it ended that way. I’m happy that we won but sad with the outcome,” said EAC head coach Gerry Esplana, whose squad ended a five-game losing skid to post just its fourth win against 11 losses.
Both teams are already out of Final Four contention but it was a heated contest nonetheless with the Generals and Cardinals battling for pride.
Before the unfortunate incident, Isit and Tayongtong are already getting under each other’s skin in the final quarter.
It reached its tipping point when Tayongtong shoved his defender Isit onto the floor. The play continued and the physical play went overboard when Leo Gabo, in defense to his teammate Isit, went after Tayongtong and pushed him.
“The referees weren’t able to control the calls,” said Mapua head coach Atoy Co in Filipino. “Of course, tempers could rise.”
“They were already ahead at that time and Tayongtong still hit Isit. At the start, he was already doing that,” Co said.
Suspensions are expected to be given to several players.
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