D-League: Tanduay coach Chongson fined P150k
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Basketball Association slapped Tanduay Light head coach Lawrence Chongson a hefty P150,000 fine along with a one-game suspension Tuesday, November 4 for his rant on the D-League's "lack of parity" and what he reportedly dubbed as "super teams" by basketball patron Manny V. Pangilinan (MVP).
"Coach Chongson had publicly issued statements critical of and prejudicial to the best interests of the league; statements offensive to and disrespectful of the reputation and image of the member-teams mentioned in the interview; and an allegation that a particular member-team is not independently run and operated, a statement that this Office finds to be reckless and unsubstantiated," the PBA statement said following a closed-door meeting between Chongson and PBA Commissioner Chito Salud.
His one-game suspension is effective immediately.
The controversial Chongson launched a tirade about the PBA's minor league saying that it allows 'super teams' backed by MVP to be formed, which leaves the rest of the teams fighting only for second place, according to reports.
Chongson, who is also the manager to Rain or Shine's Paul Lee, was pertaining to the MVP-owned 6-time D-League champions NLEX, which only recently made the jump to the PBA.
NLEX only lost one title out of the 7 conferences since the tourney's inception in 2011.
And just as NLEX left, former three-time champions of the now-defunct Philippine Basketball League Hapee Toothpaste made a comeback and formed a formidable squad bannered by UAAP standouts Ray Parks and Arnold Van Opstal along with NCAA MVP Earl Thompson. San Beda cagers Baser Amer and Ola Adeogun also make up the powerhouse squad which won its first game against AMA University Monday, November 3.
Chongson also reportedly accused Hapee of being backed by MVP due to its star-studded line-up.
He lashed out after Tanduay lost its second overall D-League draft pick Chris Newsome, who opted to play for Hapee after Tanduay failed to make him an offer within the 5 days allotted to sign draftees.
Another blow came when Tanduay also lost Far Eastern University standout Mac Belo, who suited up for the MJM Builders, which has a tie-up with FEU, despite what Chongson claimed was a live contract with the Rhum Masters.
Coincidentally, Tanduay's first game was against MJM on Monday, where they won, 78-77, thanks to AJ Mandani's game-winning basket.
Chongson was also left with a warning from the PBA.
"Coach Chongson had been strongly advised by this Office to observe caution in conducting public interviews in the future dealing with topics that may negativelyimpact on the best interests of the league,as well as, be considered hurtful and damaging to the stature ang goodwill of other member-teams." – Rappler.com