When things flared up between San Miguel and Phoenix in the PBA Governors’ Cup, the polarizing and volatile Calvin Abueva was in the middle of it all.
The Fuel Masters forward got tangled up with the Beermen’s import Kevin Murphy in the latter part of the fourth quarter.
Murphy had his arm around Abueva’s neck in a tussle for position and the two eventually fell down in the baseline near Phoenix’ bench as a scuffle ensued with other players getting into it as well.
Referees eventually blew the whistle at the 4:11 mark and gave Murphy a flagrant foul penalty 1 that Abueva vehemently protested as something too light of a punishment.
Abueva said Murphy should’ve been slapped with a flagrant foul penalty 2 that would’ve gotten Murphy ejected.
“That’s just an F1? I could barely breathe with what he did,” said Abueva in Filipino after their 115-100 loss Friday at Mall of Asia Arena. “That should’ve been an F2.”
Abueva and Murphy’s episode also led to a verbal spat between the two teams’ benches that saw Phoenix head coach Louie Alas, team manager Paolo Bugia, and big man Doug Kramer get slapped with technical fouls.
Murphy, however, adamantly said that he did not choke Abueva during their scuffle and instead tried to prevent him from falling down.
“I was really just trying to hold him up, it just happened that my arm was around his neck,” said Murphy, who finished with 26 points and seven rebounds. “I didn’t choke him, I was just holding him. He kept pushing me back. I’m not a dirty player, so it is what it is.”