THE Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) on Tuesday slapped Magnolia’s Calvin Abueva with a one-game suspension and P10,000 fine for his “unsportsmanlike conduct” in the Hotshots’ Manila Clasico duel with Barangay Ginebra last Sunday.

Mr. Abueva, according to commissioner Willie Marcial, was penalized for “spitting” on the floor in the said match, where he was thrown out after incurring his second technical foul with still nine minutes left in the game.

“Nakita natin sa video, spitting on the floor. Ginawa na rin niya ito sa Bacolor (last season) at sinabihan na rin natin siya (that time) na kapag naulit pa, suspension na,” Mr. Marcial told The STAR.

Mr. Marcial warned the controversial forward of “stiffer penalties and heavier sanction” for a similar misdemeanor in the future.

“Apologetic siya,” said the PBA executive, who met with the controversial forward to hear his side in the wake of his outburst two nights before.

Mr. Marcial also took the opportunity to ask Mr. Abueva about his “Japan, Japan!” and “Bye, PBA!” yell on his way out of the MOA Arena. His words were captured on video by and went viral, fanning talks of a possible intention to pack his bags for the Japan B.League.

“Nadala lang daw siya ng emosyon,” Mr. Marcial recalled Mr. Abueva’s explanation. “Sabi pa niya, kung pupunta raw siya ng Japan eh ‘di sana, ginawa na niya ito habang suspended siya sa PBA (June 2019 to October 2020). Gusto niya raw talaga sa PBA at nagpakahirap daw siya para makabalik dito.”

Mr. Abueva will serve his one-game sitout in Magnolia’s next game against Phoenix on Friday. — Olmin Leyba