PBA legend Johnny “The Flying A” Abarrientos is fined a P10,000 by league organizers for flashing a middle finger against Converge import Jamaal Franklin during both teams’ game Sunday, January 29, at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
The PBA legend Abarrientos was caught on TV giving the middle finger to Jamaal Franklin after the Converge import hit a decisive three-pointer that put FiberXers ahead 111-105 with 1:04 left in the game.
“The Flying A” was visibly irked by Franklin’s persistent teasing of the Magnolia bench, with the final straw being his shushing gesture towards the Hotshots after hitting the game-winning three-pointer.
Before imposing the punishment, Commissioner Willie Marcial spoke to Abarrientos to gather his perspective on the incident the day after it occurred.
Marcial said, “Sorry siya nang sorry, very apologetic siya (He’s sorry, he’s very apologetic).”
Abarrientos, however, has not previously engaged in similar misbehavior.
“Fine siya ng P10,000. May rule sa PBA against that and may precedent na rin ng mga ganyang incident (He was fined P10,000. There is a rule in the PBA against that and there is also a precedent of such incidents),” he added.
Abarrientos, meanwhile, said: “Nang-aalaska lang siya. Eh feeling niya, winning shot ‘yung tinira niya eh, tapos pinapaupo niya kami (He was just joking around. He felt that the winning shot was the one he made, and then he made us sit down).”
Franklin, on the other hand, brushed off the “middle finger” incident, saying that he and the Converge coaches have no problem with it.
He added, “I tip my hat off to them, the other import (Eric McCree), No. 19 (Rome dela Rosa) and No. 13 (Calvin Abueva) who were guarding me, they’re good, physical defenders. But nothing happened between me and other coaches out there. I think they were a little mad about the three I took while I got three foul throws. But I had nothing to do with it. That’s on the ref.”
After narrowly avoiding defeat by Magnolia, Franklin and the FiberXers took the lead in the season-ending conference with a perfect 3-0 record, ahead of NLEX (2-0) and TNT (2-0).
The Hotshots put forth a remarkable effort to come back from a double-digit deficit in the final three minutes of the game. This was made possible due to the exceptional shooting performance of import Eric McCree.
Magnolia had a chance to tie the game when McCree made an and-one play, responding to Franklin’s three-pointer with only 30 seconds left in the game.
This brought Magnolia within two points, 111-109, and they had another opportunity to close the gap when they forced a turnover.
Magnolia called a timeout to strategize for their final offensive possession, but McCree’s long three-point attempt from the left elbow missed, with Jeron Teng blocking the shot.