Alaska's Gabby Espinas fined P20K
MANILA, Philippines – Three days after the controversial knockout match between the Meralco Bolts and the Alaska Aces, the PBA website announced on Thursday, January 23 that Aces veteran forward Gabby Espinas has been fined P20,000 for his actions against Meralco's Cliff Hodge.
At the 4:48 mark of the second period of their heated match-up, Hodge was seen complaining to the referee after fighting for the rebound and the ball went out of bounds. Espinas then bumped Hodge and they continued shoving each other, jockeying for position in the paint as play resumed. As soon as the ball was inbounded the physicality went a notch higher as Hodge fell on the hardwood after coming in contact with Espinas' elbow. Espinas then fell on Hodge and appeared to throw a punch which landed on Hodge's head as he went down.
Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Commissioner Chito Salud meted out the fine after a thorough review of the game.
The initial call on Espinas was a Flagrant Foul Penalty 1 but the Commissioner's Office upgraded it to a Flagrant Foul Penalty 2.
Espinas, who was feared to miss the quarterfinals due to that game, will be playing on Saturday, January 25 in Alaska's fourth straight do-or-die game against the twice-to-beat Barangay Ginebra San Miguel.
The Aces put together some wins at the end of the eliminations and pushed Ginebra to the brink, forcing the rubber match on Saturday at the Cuneta Astrodome for a slot in the semis. – Rappler.com