Nabong on ejection: ‘I’m here to protect my players’
GlobalPort big man Kelly Nabong insisted he was neither the instigator nor was he trying to pick up fights during their matchup against Rain or Shine in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
The 6-foot-6 Nabong was ejected with 3:20 left in a heated game on Sunday that ended in a Batang Pier loss to the Elasto Painters at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“I wasn’t even in the scuffle, it’s more of protection,” said Nabong. “My teammates were in the ground trying to get a jump ball, and they were trying to get up and a little point guard pushed my player back to the ground. As a big man, I’m trying to protect my players.”
“I’m not here to start fights, I’m here to end them and protect my players.”
GlobalPort’s Moala Tautuaa and Rain or Shine’s Beau Belga were the first to dive for the ball with Batang Pier’s Sean Anthony joining the two a second later.
Painters’ Maverick Ahanmisi then, joined the three and pushed Anthony’s head that Nabong took offense to. Nabong came to Anthony’s defense as he shoved Ahanmisi away from the pileup.
“My teammate Sean is down on the ground trying to get the ball from Belga, they (referees) called a foul, the play was over,” said Nabong who finished with 13 points and four boards. “Sean was trying to get up and Maverick Ahanmisi came over and pushed him back to the ground.”
“As a teammate, I was looking and the play was over with. Why would you push another player on the ground when you already got the foul? I will protect my team, my players, my coaches, management.”
Nabong, though, wasn’t the only one ejected after the altercation as Ahanmisi was also thrown out of the game.
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