Reduced to 5 players, Heavy Bombers face Golden Stags

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JOHN AMORES (center) of Jose Rizal University was the biggest recipient of the multiple suspensions lodged by the league on those players involved in the brawl. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ RUSSELL PALMA

Games Today (Friday)(Filoil EcoOil Centre)12 p.m. — CSB vs UPHSD3 p.m. — JRU vs SSC-R

Ravaged by the suspension slapped by the league following the John Amores-centered fracas last time, undermanned Jose Rizal University (JRU) tries to pick up the pieces as it seeks a miracle against San Sebastian College today in NCAA Season 98 at the Filoil EcoOil Centre.

Mr. Amores was the biggest recipient of the multiple suspensions lodged by the league on those players involved in the ugly brawl last Tuesday as he was banned indefinitely for several offenses including punching College of St. Benilde’s Mark Sangco, Jimboy Pasturan, Taine Davis and Migs Oczon.

Also sacked were William Sy (three games), Ryan Arenal (two games), and Jason Tan, Joshua Guiab, Jason Celis, Marwin Dionisio, Jan Marc Abaoag, Jonathan Medina, Karl De Jesus and CJ Gonzales for one game.

The myriad of suspensions left the Bombers with just five active players — skipper Ry dela Rosa, Agem Miranda, Pauloh Villarin, Karl de Jesus and John delos Santos — as they face the Stags at 3 p.m.

The STAR tried to reach JRU coach Louie Gonzales for comments but he did not respond.

JRU is still in semis contention with a 6-7 record, or half a game ahead of SSC-R, currently with a 5-7 slate and is expected to take advantage of the situation.

The day before, JRU’s NCAA Management Committee representative Paul Supan apologized for the unfortunate incident, suspended Mr. Amores indefinitely and revealed the school is holding its own inquiry on the matter.

“A separate internal inquiry of the matter will be conducted consistent with the university rules and regulations,” said Mr. Supan.

“We apologize to the whole basketball community, particularly to our NCAA family for this incident. Violence has no part in the sport of basketball, and as a member of the NCAA, we shall continue to uphold the highest ideals of collegiate athletic competitions,” he added.

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), meanwhile, strongly condemned “acts of on court violence in basketball, whether it is directed towards a player, an official or a fan.” SBP executive director Sonny Barrios had, in fact, reached out to SBP NCAA trustees Supan and Dax Castellano of CSB to relay their concern over the ugly incident.

“We in SBP are one with NCAA in its direction to proactively take the appropriate steps to move the league forward in a professional manner and positively address the issues at hand for the benefit of the NCAA and the sport of basketball,” it said.

Also scheduled today is the 12 p.m. duel between CSB (10-3), which will be without suspended Sangco, Ladis Lepalam and Chris Jay Flores, and University of Perpetual Help (5-9). — Joey Villar