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No place for violence in sports – Noli Eala

READY TO ERUPT Before the melee began during the game between Jose Rizal University and College of Saint Benilde on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, Heavy Bomber John Amores confronted the referees after he was called for a personal foul with 3:22 left in the game. After he was pacified for this incident, Amores charged towards the Blazers bench and attacked four players which led to his indefinite suspension. NCAA/GMA PHOTO

READY TO ERUPT Before the melee began during the game between Jose Rizal University and College of Saint Benilde on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, Heavy Bomber John Amores confronted the referees after he was called for a personal foul with 3:22 left in the game. After he was pacified for this incident, Amores charged towards the Blazers bench and attacked four players which led to his indefinite suspension. NCAA/GMA PHOTO

(UPDATED) PHILIPPINE Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Jose Emmanuel “Noli” Eala said violence has no place in sports, after Tuesday's scuffle involving Jose Rizal University (JRU) player John Michael Amores against the College of Saint Benilde (CSB) Blazers in the NCAA men's basketball tournament at the FilOil EcoOil Centre.

“Violence has absolutely no place in sports. Period. No exceptions,” Eala wrote on Twitter.

Eala, however, did not specify if there will be any sanctions against any player from either National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) team.

Amores has been suspended indefinitely by the NCAA Management Committee for attacking four CSB players on Tuesday. The game was eventually stopped at the 3:22 mark of the fourth quarter with the Blazers on top, 71-51.

This is not the first time that Amores was involved in an in-game scuffle as he and Kobe Monje of Letran had a shoving incident in the first round.

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In an off-season tournament, Amores also punched Mark Belmonte of University of the Philippines during a UCBL game.

Calls for a lifetime ban

Meanwhile, Sen. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito weighed in on the situation and called for a lifetime ban from basketball on Amores.

“John Amores should be banned for life in any basketball league,” Ejercito wrote on Twitter on Thursday.

The senator believed what Amores did in the game between JRU and CSB last Tuesday leaves a bad influence for the youth.

“What he did on court in an NCAA [National Collegiate Athletic Association] game left a bad impression on our youth,” he wrote.

Ejercito joked that Amores should try out for boxing or mixed martial arts (MMA) instead of basketball and would be delighted to spar with him at the Elorde Sports Complex.

JRU apologizes

JRU on Wednesday apologized for the incident and said a separate investigation will be conducted.

“We apologize to the whole basketball community, particularly to our NCAA family, for this incident,” JRU's statement wrote. “Violence has no part in the sport of basketball, and as a member of the NCAA, we shall continue to uphold the highest ideals of collegiate athletic competition.”

JRU has suspended Amores for the rest of the NCAA season. He is also not allowed to join team practices.

SBP condemns act

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), meanwhile, “strongly condemned the acts of Amores.

“With NCAA being a member of SBP, we asked SBP Executive Director Sonny Barrios to reach out to SBP NCAA Trustee to the SBP Board Dax Castellano and SBP Regional Director Paul Supan to share SBP's serious concern over the unwanted incident in the NCAA game between CSB and JRU,” said SBP president Al Panlilio in a statement.

“They discussed the shared view of condemning on court violence, adoption of preventive measures to avoid a repetition of the deplorable incident, including a review of security protocols, and meting out the necessary sanctions in a fair manner.”

The NCAA also penalized 10 other JRU players for their role in the melee, while three players from CSB were suspended.

Netizens up in arms

Netizens on Twitter have also called for a lifetime ban on Amores.

“JRU's John Amores should be banned for life from any Philippine basketball league. Attempted to attack a fan then proceeded to attack the whole CSB [De La Salle-College of St. Benilde] team, punching out three Benilde players,” the Twitter handle @PBAInsider posted on Tuesday. “This hooligan doesn't deserve any more chances, enough is enough.”

The account also hit out at Amores' sportsmanship award given to him by the NCAA in 2018.

“How the heck did John Amores win the NCAA Jrs. Sportsmanship Award back in 2018? This kind of totally out of control behavior is unacceptable on a basketball court,” the account tweeted.

“This player John Amores must be BANNED for life. His violent dastardly act is a huge black eye for the NCAA. NCAA's honor & integrity is at stake & their recent idiotic disproportionate disciplinary action vs JRU & their violent player will surely lead to the demise of the league,” tweeted @dan4ualways on Thursday.

“JRU's John Amores must be banned for life!” tweeted The Professional Heckler, pointing out that Amores had attacked University of the Philippines (UP) player Mark Belmonte who had to undergo surgery.

One netizen even wanted Amores to enroll in anger management classes.

“Amores should be enrolled in anger management before he is even allowed to play in any league again,” wrote @lilyoftheveil17, answering another netizen who pointed out that CSB player Mark Daniel Sangco threw the first punch.

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