Philippine Patriots fire ‘misbehaving’ Bates
MANILA, Philippines—Billy Ray Bates failed to make the most out of his second chance to create an impact in the local cage scene as the AirAsia Philippine Patriots fired the former PBA great from their coaching staff.
The Patriots dropped Bates as their skills coach yesterday “for repeated misconduct and acts detrimental to the team and to the league.”
“We’re sincere to help him but he’s misbehaving of late and we have no other option but to sever our ties with him,” said team manager Erick Arejola. “I already warned him before but he missed several of our practices and made acts detrimental to the image of the team.”
Considered as one of the best imports ever to play in the PBA, Bates battled with alcohol and drugs in the 1980s and also spent several years in prison in the United States for assault charges.
Known in the PBA as the “Black Superman,” Bates looked set to start a new life when he accepted the offer to join the Patriots in the Asean Basketball League following his induction to the PBA Hall of Fame last October.
But he seemed he couldn’t keep out of trouble with a reported assault incident in his condominium unit among his recent misdemeanor.
Bates’ agent, Sheryl Reyes, said her client and the Patriots “parted professionally” and the “issue was resolved.”
“It’s very sad that it had to end this way, but, as we all know, Billy is a survivor and he will survive,” Reyes said in a statement.
The Patriots, though, hope to keep their focus on their next duel against the Indonesia Warriors this Saturday in Jakarta.
The match kicks off a tough three road-game stretch where the Patriots (7-2) vie to keep their share of the top spot.
But the Patriots also have to do without top scorer Anthony Johnson, Erick Rodriguez and Ardy Larong in their Wednesday game against the Saigon Heat as the three serve a one-game suspension.
The three, along with San Miguel ’s Aries Dimaunahan and Junjun Cabatu, were slapped with a one-game ban for figuring in a bench-clearing brawl in the game won by the Beermen, 68-66, last Sunday.