MANILA, Philippines – The Cagayan Valley Rising Suns will not be returning to the PBA D-League after the 2015 Foundation Cup concludes, and are dedicating their remaining games to banned coach Alvin Pua, the team announced Sunday, May 17.
Head coach Pua was slapped with a lifetime ban on top of a hefty Php 500,000 fine for punching referee Benjie Montero in the face during the team’s game against Livermarin last Thursday, May 14.
“We respect the decision of the Commissioner. We will be playing our remaining games without a head coach, but we will be playing it for him. Tuloy pa rin ang laban ng Cagayan (The battle continues for Cagayan),” the team said in the statement.
“But at this point, our decision to end our campaign in the D-League remains.”
Cagayan admitted there was “no excuse” for Pua’s actions and apologized for it, but stood by their judgment of the D-League’s officiating and expressed hope that change will come for the PBA’s minor league.
“We just hope that this incident will finally serve as a wake up call to the D-League and that it will make them see that indeed there is incompetence and inefficiency with its officiating,” the statement said. “We are not the only team to complain about this. Even teams in the PBA share the same sentiments.”
Pua, who already has a history of other incidents with referees in the past, was a no-show last Friday when summoned by the PBA Commissioner. Team manager Frederic Collado went in his place and was also fined P20,000 for comments he made that justified the attack.
The Rising Suns are currently in third place in the standings with a 5-3 record and have one more elimination game to play.
Collado says the team will join the Joe Lipa’s developmental basketball league, the Countrywide Basketball League.
Read the full team statement below:
The Cagayan Rising Suns family is saddened by the decision of the Commissioner to ban Coach Alvin Pua from the PBA. To lose the man who has given this team the identity of who and where they are right now is simply heartbreaking. Nevertheless, for the sake of our players and commitment, we will finish our remaining games for this conference. Though Coach Alvin will not be able to man during games, he will still be the backbone of this team. The management, staff and players are one in saying that he is still our head coach.
This team was put together with the goal of giving hope to aspiring ballers and providing them the opportunity to make it in the big leagues. A chance to mold and develop their skills and talents and be considered as competent and able players of basketball. Unlike other teams, we have nothing to promote or advertise. We simply want to expose and develop the potentials of the players that we believe are deserving to be in this league and in the pro leagues. For the past three years we have done that. We have lived up with that goal and proud to have helped some players who are now playing in the pros. Most of the credit of these achievements is to our Head Coach for his commitment and dedication to this team and his passion for basketball.
We joined the PBA D-League 3 years ago believing that it would be a good avenue to make our goal happen. We believed that the D-League would give our players the best chance of making it big and develop them to be competitive and professional. We recognize the role it has played for us in the past three years and we thank them for accommodating us. But, with the past incidents and recent developments, we are formally announcing that this will be our last conference in the PBA D-League. We have always been vocal of our complaints particularly about the poor officiating in the league. In fact we are known to be the most “reklamador” team in the D-League. We don’t do this to sour grape for our losses. We accept defeat with pride as long as we know it was fair. We have aired our sentiments to the commission and hopefully it helps them for the improvement of the league. But at this point, our decision to end our campaign in the D-League remains.
There is no excuse for the incident last Thursday. We are sorry it happened. Coach Alvin’s emotions got the best of him. It only shows how protective he is of his players and how passionate he is for basketball. We just hope that this incident will finally serve as a wake up call to the D-League and that it will make them see that indeed there is incompetence and inefficiency with its officiating. We are not the only team to complain about this. Even teams in the PBA share the same sentiments.
We respect the decision of the Commissioner. We will be playing our remaining games without a head coach, but we will be playing it for him. Tuloy pa rin ang laban ng Cagayan.
We would like to thank our supporters who have stood by us despite of what happened. Your support and confidence serves as our strength and inspiration. To our friends in the media who have come to hear and air our side, thank you and God bless. – Rappler.com
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