MANILA, Philippines - Barako Bull player Don Allado was meted a heavy sanction of a one-conference ban plus a fine of P500,000 as a consequence of allegations in a social network that games are “fixed” in the Philippine Basketball Association.
The PBA Commissioner’s Office thought of imposing a lifetime ban but reconsidered after Allado admitted he had erred in his personal tweet that the games in the league were being manipulated and offered a formal apology to the league.
Allado appeared before commissioner Chito Salud accompanied by his father Caloy, Barako Bull team manager Raffy Casyao and coach Junel Baculi.
“He was apologetic and reiterated his passion for the game got the best of him. But while I laud his passion for the game, this kind of behavior can’t be tolerated,” said Salud.
Casyao said their team also doesn’t tolerate such action and mulls separate sanction on Allado.
The Barako Bull team manager, however, insisted they would still consider re-signing the 33-year-old player at the end of his current contract in August.
But as a result of the one-conference ban, the earliest Allado can return to play is January.
Allado is banned from all PBA related activities. The former La Salle standout must also pay a fine of P500,000 with P300,000 going to the PBA Players Educational Trust Fund and the rest to a charitable institution of his choice.
Salud said the decision is final and unappealable.
But before Salud handed out the decision, Allado said he would accept the consequence of his misdeed.
“I’m ready to face whatever the commissioner thinks I deserve. I will man up for my mistake. I’ll take the consequence,” Allado told a big group of media people trooping to the PBA office in Libis, Quezon City yesterday.
Allado had actually apologized as early as Wednesday afternoon after realizing the controversy he created.
“It was an error in judgment on my part to let my passion for this game get the best of me. As a professional I should’ve known better. I understand that my statement may be construed by many as discrediting the PBA. Let it be known, however, that such is not my intention,” Allado said in his Twitter account.
He reiterated that statement in his meeting with Salud and in his talk with the media.
And he stressed he has no knowledge of game-fixing in the league, refuting earlier statements he made in his Twitter account.
“It was not myself (when I said those statements),” said Allado.
“It’s not my intention to bring the PBA to all of these. It was my frustration on the refs, missing out bonuses, and my contract expiring,” Allado also said.
“I was alone. I was scared. I had mixed emotions and I felt it was the dead-end. My passion for the game was very high. I made a great mistake,” he added.
Being a 13-year PBA veteran, Allado said he knows the games in the league are won in merits.
“The PBA is the best league in Asia hands down. There’s no game fixing. There never was,” Allado stressed.
Meanwhile, The House committee on sports development is closely monitoring the on-going investigation of the PBA on alleged game-fixing in the league, a lawmaker said yesterday.
Pwersa ng Bayaning Atleta party-list Rep. Mark Aeron Sambar, vice chairman of the panel, was referring to the allegations aired by Allado.
He said the public expect the PBA conduct an honest probe and for Allado to disclose all he knows about game-fixing even as he warned the committee will conduct a congressional inquiry if the league’s investigation was not satisfactory.
“It is too early to call for a congressional inquiry but this should be anticipated if a whitewash in the PBA investigation becomes evident. The public expects nothing less than a transparent and fair investigation into the issues raised by Mr. Allado,” Sambar said. – With report from Paolo Romero - By Nelson Beltran