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MANILA, Philippines – The Korean Basketball League (KBL) fined former NBA player Chinanu Onuaku 3 million won ($2,317) on Saturday, December 30, for his involvement in Filipino star Rhenz Abando’s gruesome back injury last Thursday, December 28.
Videos of the incident showed that Onuaku, who plays for the Goyang Sono Skygunners with Filipino veteran Alex Cabagnot, pushed Abando while hustling mid-air for a rebound, causing a horrific crash that resulted in a concussion and multiple spinal fractures for the Anyang Red Boosters import.
According to Korean outlet Jumpball, the league found Onuaku’s push on Abando “intentional,” despite referees calling a regular foul during the game. As an added consequence, the league warned the erring officials for “inexperience in managing the game.”
The KBL, however, made no mention of a suspension for Onuaku, who started his professional career with a three-year Houston Rockets stint.
“As soon as I [learned about Abando’s diagnosis], I immediately called [Anyang] coach Sang-sik Kim. I was sorry that the team situation was already not good. Our leader also apologized,” Goyang tactician Seung-gi Kim told Jumpball.
“The game should have ended without [anyone] getting hurt.”
Abando, who last wowed home crowds with his high-flying exploits for Gilas Pilipinas in the 2023 FIBA World Cup, is now expected to be sidelined for at least a month, and will likely miss the KBL All-Star Weekend and his Slam Dunk title defense. – Rappler.com