NBL slaps lifetime ban on coach

Iriga City Oragons head coach Pablo Lucas has been slapped with a lifetime ban by the National Basketball League (NBL) for punching a spectator during Sunday’s quarterfinal match against Taguig at the Hagonoy Sports Complex.

Lucas was sanctioned by the NBL following his involvement in a melee at the stands in the fourth quarter of the match between the Oragons and the Generals.

During a timeout in the 3:49 mark of the fourth quarter and the Generals ahead, 72-67, Lucas was caught on videos punching a spectator while a commotion in the bleachers was going on.

The NBL also ordered the resumption of the game on Thursday, 6 p.m. at the Philippine Army Gym in a closed-door match to determine the winner. Taguig has a twice-to-beat advantage over Iriga City in its quarterfinal series, the winner of which will be facing the reigning champion Paranaque Aces.

Lucas will not be allowed to coach in the resumption of the match.

“This is a clear violation of existing rules that coaches are not allowed to leave the playing court without distinct authorization from NBL officials. Violence, is in no way tolerated by our organization,” said the league in a memo signed by NBL chairman/president Celso Mercado following deliberation of the issue.

“Effective immediately, Head Coach Pablo Lucas is hereby slapped with a lifetime ban on all NBL related games and activities. He shall also not be permitted any access to venues sanctioned by NBL,” the league added.

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