Alaska forward Vic Manuel Thursday admitted he was aware of the rule prohibiting players from suiting up in leagues not sanctioned by the PBA. But he proceeded anyway.
"I know it's prohibited. Pero matigas ulo ko (I'm hard-headed)," said an apologetic Manuel, who added he couldn't say no to his friend who invited him to play.
Manuel and Magnolia's Jio Jalalon were slapped with suspensions by their respective teams after a video that went viral on Facebook that saw the two playing in what turned out to be an exhibition game in Laguna along with suspended Phoenix forward Calvin Abueva.
"I know Boss Dickie (Bachmann) and coach Jeff (Cariaso) were disappointed," Manuel added. "I couldn't do anything but apologize."
Alaska is dealing with the issue internally. Cariaso refused to divulge details regarding the sanctions and said they are moving forward from this.
"Sometimes we make mistakes. That's really the moral of what this is all about. Make mistakes, you learn from it and just move forward," he said during the PBA Media Day at Okada.
"That's what we're doing now. We're making sure Vic doesn't commit the same mistake. That goes with everyone else on the team. Continue moving on and prepare for next conference."
Like Cariaso, Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero didn't reveal the extent of Jalalon's suspension.
"A rule is a rule. Everybody needs to follow. The management knows how long the suspension will be but I'm hopeful he will be with us before the first game," Victolero said.
Hopeful that nothing of the same nature will happen in the future, Victolero said the "good" kid just needs some guidance sometimes.
"It's one of my responsibilities to guide my players," said Victolero, who added he hopes lessons were learned from the incident.
Meanwhile, the PBA will start imposing fines on players who will commit the same violation in the future.
League commissioner Willie Marcial said a minimum fine of P50,000 and possibly a suspension await players caught playing in the non-PBA sanctioned games.
"After talking to them (Jalalon and Manuel), I released a memo stating a minimum of P50,000 fine or suspension will be imposed," Marcial said.
"It's for their welfare. They might get injured playing outside the PBA."
Last month, guard Ping Exciminiano tore his Achilles heel while playing in an unsanctioned game, known as "ligang labas" in local parlance, just days before he was supposedly set to sign a new contract with Rain or Shine.