San Miguel forward Arwind Santos won't be suspended for his racist actions toward TNT import Terrence Jones in Game 5 of the 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup Finals Wednesday.
League commissioner Willie Marcial told ESPN5 that Santos will be fined P200,000 and will serve 100 hours of community service after Santos mimicked a monkey as a way to taunt Jones.
"He'll also undergo seminar and counseling on equality so when he learns from it, he can impart that knowledge to kids and fellow players," added Marcial, who also apologized to Jones.
"I'd like to ask for understanding from Terrence Jones and his family for what happened," Marcial said. "This isn't the stand of the PBA and the league does not condone what Arwind did, which has no place in the league."
Santos, after initially defending his behavior, later issued an apology.
"To make it short, I'm sorry. I would like to say sorry to Terrence Jones. I [didn't] mean anything [towards] him. I'm also sorry to all the fans, all San Miguel fans, everyone who was hurt because I really didn't have any bad intention," the forward told ESPN5.
"I'm only human, I also commit mistakes. I know I was wrong, and that's why I'm apologizing."
In his statements immediately after the game, Santos had said he saw nothing wrong with his actions.
"Basketball's about mind games, right?" Santos said. "I figured he'd see and get irked if he gets called such. That would be favorable for us. ... Me, sorry? No. That depends on him. If he gets annoyed, then he's really a monkey. If he doesn't, he's not a monkey. We're just trying to get on his nerves."
Marcial warned that if a similar incident happens in the future, it would warrant a bigger punishment.
"He was apologetic. I saw that the apology came from the heart. For me, that was a sincere apology," Marcial observed. "[But] if that happens again, I told him it'll be a bigger penalty and sanction will be meted."
Santos, who is also set to give a public apology, said that he won't personally reach out to Jones anymore as he looks forward to Game 6.
"I'm focused on Game 6. I hope we get it and we give PBA fans a good game. It's a really great series," he said.