MANILA, Philippines – San Juan assistant coach Yong Garcia publicly apologized to Valenzuela player Lordy Casajeros over a spitting incident that marred the Knights’ 90-74 win over the MJas-Zenith last Monday, May 30, at the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) 2022 season.
In a lengthy statement, Garcia apologized to Casajeros, the rest of the Valenzuela team, his own San Juan team, and the rest of the MPBL, but likewise justified his actions after what he alleged were “multiple uncalled for events” against his players.
“I was merely asking a player to stop hurting one of our players but was met by foul language,” he said. “The protective coach in me felt the need to find a way to make this player stop what he was doing, but ultimately, the end does not justify the means.”
Garcia caused a warranted uproar online after seen on video spitting on Casajeros’ right shoulder with the game clock stopped at the 1:06 mark of the second quarter, San Juan ahead, 39-27.
An incensed Casajeros then approached the game camera to show off a wad of saliva still on his body before the league stopped its live stream, and only left game footage from the third quarter onwards.
Although the MPBL has not yet issued a statement of its own, the Knights have taken it upon themselves to suspend Garcia for one month “without any allowances and incentives.”
“Our [San Juan Knights-Go For Gold] management will not tolerate such unethical acts that damage our beloved city and our name in basketball. Much to our regret, the suspension will take effect immediately,” the team’s statement read.
Alongside head coach Randy Alcantara, Garcia also helps oversee the NCAA’s Mapua Cardinals, which recently reached the finals for the first time in 31 years before bowing to eventual back-to-back champion Letran in a two-game sweep. – Rappler.com