MANILA, Philippines – In a bizarre turn of events, what was just a friendly tuneup game between Gilas Pilipinas and Jordan resulted into a furious verbal spat between rival coaches.
Jordan head coach Joey Stiebing chose to pull his team out of the contest on Wednesday, November 21, to prevent things from escalating after he and Philippine mentor Yeng Guiao exchanged heated words.
The game was prematurely ended with 6:23 minutes left to play as Stiebing, his coaching staff and his players headed into locker room with the Filipinos leading 82-73.
"If us getting in a fight, I don't think that would have been a good thing for either team. That's why we just decided to call the game," Stiebing told reporters before leaving the Meralco Gym in Pasig with his team.
The word war was ignited after a Jordan player tossed the ball to the Philippines' Scottie Thompson during a dead ball situation.
In Stiebing's story, Guiao allegedly cursed at the certain Jordan player and the visiting coach didn't like it. (READ: Guiao on word war vs Jordan coach: 'I just didn't want to be bullied')
Guiao claimed that Stiebing "said he was ready to take my ass," sparking the verbal altercation that was ultimately stopped by players and coaching staff from both teams.
The game looks like it’s over with 6:26 left in the 4th as Jordan pulls out following the altercation. pic.twitter.com/vPL9Ff4NnU — Rappler Sports (@RapplerSports) November 21, 2018
"I told the coach something that I shouldn't have said but I didn't curse at him and it was just at the heat of the battle. But I did ask him twice not to curse at my guys and he continued to do it even after that."
"When an opposing coach curses at your players and calls them names, I think that's crossing the lines, and I think that's what got me upset. I asked the coach earlier, I said, 'Please, don't talk to my players.' And then he did it again."
"I've had players before, if a coach curses at them, they'll go after them and start a fight. I think that's unprofessional. I'm a coach. I would never talk to another player. I would never curse at them."
"I was disappointed in that and I felt like if we continue the game, something bad was going to happen and I didn't want to see that happen."
Gilas hosts Lebanon in another tuneup game on Friday, November 23. – Rappler.com
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.