Heckling in the PBA

July 6, 2009

Fans have been regarded as the lifeblood of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA). But what would the league do if these fans go over their limitations?

This issue has been exposed again during the Game 2 of the best of seven finals between the San Miguel Beermen (SMB)  and the Barangay Ginebra Kings (BGK).  After the end of the buzzer, when both teams were about to go to their respective dug-outs, a BGK fan was attacked by SMB players Danny Ildefonso and Marc Pingris. See the video here:

The BGK fan was later identified as Ferdinand Nervadez, a 40-year old businessman from Bulacan. Here’s a couple of his photos taken by sportscaster Patricia Hizon:

Based from what I have read from several news reports, Ildefonso went after that idiot BGK fan because the fan kept saying vulgar words to him. An SMB insider said the fan has been banned from watching the PBA games live… forever. Okay, justice has been served. But wait. Something’s not right.

The idiot fan got banned just by giving invectives and dirty finger. Okay. But you can actually hear many fans in the venue shouting invectives to the players. So that means these fans should have been banned as well? My point is there must have been something else that the idiot fan did or said. Something that the PBA found very unjustifiable. Ergo, the ban. And I’m wondering why this has not been reported.

According to insiders, Mr. Nervadez did not only shout invectives and give Ildefonso a dirty finger. This idiot BGK fan also told Ildefonso that his (Ildefonso) daughter is going to die of cancer. Yes, Ildefonso’s daughter has cancer and has been undergoing chemotherapy for a while now. That was actually the reason why the SMB cager opted not to play in the recently concluded PBA All-Stars. Again, this has not been shown in the news reports that came out. Why?!

Something’s really fishy. Maybe the PBA did not let this out because they do not want to be faulted for not putting enough security personnel to control the crowd. Or in general, have measures to address hooliganism. Yes, the environment is a controllable factor. And in this recent heckling incident, the PBA once again allowed to get the matter go out of hand.

Now, the following are the lessons that should be learned from this basketbrawl:

For the PBA: True enough, the PBA exists because of the fans. PBA teams are private companies that invest in the league to advertise their respective services/products. Yes, the PBA is nothing if there are no fans who support the league. However, restrictions should be imposed. PBA players are also humans who have emotions (even though many people seem to regard basketball as a sport close to cockfighting). Ildefonso was provoked by the BGK fan. Things might not have had an ugly turn if the PBA strictly implemented security measures in the venue, granted the league has such.

For the players: Players have to learn how to keep their poise and composure. This no matter how the fans insult them (sad but true). They have no choice but to always check their temper, considering how many ill-mannered and hooligan fans are there.

For the fans: Sure, fans are the so-called “lifeblood” of the PBA. But being paying fans doesn’t give one all the right in the world to ridicule and humiliate the PBA players. That is just PURE HOOLIGANISM.

I sincerely hope that the PBA come up with measures to curb fan heckling. Such display of barbaric act and utmost hooliganism all the more put a dent into an already stained image of the league.

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