There were more fireworks off the court than on it, and it took place minutes after San Miguel Beer prevailed over Magnolia in a one-sided way to go ahead, 2-0, in their Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Commissioner’s Cup Finals series.
Instead of the focus being on how the Beermen meticulously dominated the Hotshots in taking a 109-85 win at Mall of Asia Arena, it was about the heated exchange involving Calvin Abueva and the wife of Mo Tautuaa as players and families from both teams were about to go to the exits.
Mall of Asia security, PBA officials, members of both teams and the better halves of other players had to play cooler heads when Abueva tried to confront the Tautuaas.“Mo, ayusin mo asawa mo, ha (tell your wife to behave)! Hey f— you! Gusto mo sapakan tayo (You want to fight)?!” Abueva was heard shouting at his San Miguel counterpart, with only a door separating both parties that helped prevent the incident from further escalating.
Mrs. Tautuaa, through the social media platform X, claimed Abueva smirked at her as she was heading to the toilet after the game. She also clarified that Abueva “did not physically attack me.”
Both Abueva, his wife Sam, who was also heard hurling some words, and the Tautuaas eventually left separately under the protection of arena bouncers.
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial is expected to tackle the matter at the earliest possible time, given that the incident involved a player and a family member from one of the teams. It could also put Abueva in very hot water, four years after he was slapped with an indefinite ban that lasted almost two years for a clothesline on TNT import Terrence Jones in 2019.
A bad birthday
The incident put a bitter end on the day Abueva celebrated his 36th birthday as Magnolia trailed the entire night and was never really in the game.
Earlier in the game, Abueva dealt with yet another foul-prone outing and had been slapped with a technical for exchanging words with San Miguel coach Jorge Gallent.
There was less action during the contest as San Miguel waxed hot behind import Bennie Boatwright coupled with another all-around effort from CJ Perez.
But it was the defense of San Miguel that also took the fight out of Magnolia, which never recovered when the gap ballooned to 28.
San Miguel is two wins shy of completing a championship in Gallent’s first Finals appearance handling the talented Beermen.
It is now fair to think of a sweep considering how the Beermen upped their game from the playoff opener. It was the team’s 11th straight win dating back to December, and San Miguel has not lost in nine games with Boatwright as import.
“The goal is to get to four wins,” Gallent said.
The Beermen, whose defense held the prolific Tyler Bey to just 22 points and allowed only two local Hotshots in twin digits, shoot for a third straight win in the series on Wednesday as action returns to Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao. INQ