Carl Cruz on FIBA ban: ‘Regretful ako’

MANILA — Carl Cruz expressed his sadness after finding out that FIBA suspended him for five games following his role in the infamous brawl between Gilas Pilipinas and Australia last July 2.

“Regretful pa rin ako sa nangyari na ayun, na-suspend ako for five games, di ako makakatulong sa team (I regret what happened that got me suspended for five games. I would not be able to help my team),” the Alaska forward said on Friday night, a day after the verdict was released.

He said he learned his biggest lesson from the incident.

“Control your emotions para isipin mo kung anong mas importante sa career mo (so you would see what is more important in your career),” Cruz said.

The normally mild-mannered Cruz was his usual self on Friday night, helping the Aces trounce the San Miguel Beermen in Game 3 of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals at the Ynares Center.

The FIBA Disciplinary Panel on Thursday suspended 13 players and two coaches and imposed fines and other sanctions on the national federations of the Philippines and Australia. FIBA also suspended the officiating crew of the game.

The suspension stems from the July 2 brawl of the two teams during the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Asian Qualifiers at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan.

Of the 13 players, 10 were from the Philippines — Japeth Aguilar, Matthew Wright, Terrence Romeo, Jayson Castro William, Andray Blatche, Jeth Rosario, Roger Pogoy, Carl Cruz, Jio Jalalon, and Calvin Abueva.

Assistant Coach Joseph Uichico and Head Coach Vincent ‘Chot’ Reyes were also suspended and the latter was asked to pay a disciplinary fine of about PHP535,000 for inciting unsportsmanlike behavior.

FIBA is the International Basketball Federation. Ivan Stewart Saldajeno/PNA –