Ringside 109, who’s accountable?

2 09 2007

It was San Beda vs. Letran. Before the start of the ball game the NCAA member schools initiated ceremony to signify their togetherness. San Beda and Letran exchanged tokens – the Animo San Beda scarf and the Letran jacket. And so the game went on.

During the 3rd Quarter, while I was seated in the front row at Ringside 109 while enjoying the game, Mel Alas apparently caught fire with someone from the stands. And he was really upset. I have never seen Mel Alas in that mood except when he was coaching the Adamson Falcons in the UAAP but that’s another story. Sources said that someone threw something at him. Nothing big, but enough to catch his attention.

Letran Coach Louie Alas tried to pacify his brother. So far, he succeeded, and so we believe. Coach Louie asked the San Beda fans in R109, without pinpointing at anyone, and generally asking politely to impede whatever they intend to do next. And so the game went on peacefully with everybody enjoying the action. But eventually, the Knights would loose to the Red Lions in another classic encounter.

Right after the game all hell broke loose at R109. While I was at the dugout preparing to take a post game footage on the winner coach, I heard riot noise. I ran out and saw pet bottles, popcorn, empty cola cans and some coins were being thrown at the Letran Knights coaching staff and even players. It was a sight not to see. At the same time a nightmare in a time were hooliganism was a fad in the NCAA.

Now who’s responsible? From the San Beda spectator to Mel Alas, who should be responsible? Araneta security? the spectator? We can always point to whoever, but we know in our conscience who should take responsibility. Between the Letran Coaching staff and some players and the San Beda spectators, who should take responsibility? Araneta security, NCAA Mancom, spectators, who?

The NCAA Mancom’s treatment on this is – it happened right after the ball game. Probably the highlights of that incident that happened at the Palace in Auburn Hills between Detroit and Indiana are now running thru your mind. And it is true that there is a demarcation line between the spectators that pay to watch the game and the people that give you entrainment, in this case, the teams on the basketball court. You can even call it the 38th parallel. But whatever you call it, there is a clear boundary.

According to the NCAA Mancom, since there are no rules and penalties for this kind of “melee”, the Mancom will follow their line of thinking, for the sake of consistency, their reprimand on the previous incident that happened between Coaches Lim and Vanguardia – a STERN WARNING.

Too bad somebody got injured. But according to league sources charges will not be filed, maybe that someone knew they should take responsibility of the what ifs? – What if I just sat there, watch the game and keep the pockets to myself? Plus all the what ifs. The security was able to round up some of the spectators, got their names and will be banned from watching the games live in any venue. So how will this affect security? Thousands of fans will enter the venue how will and can you identify them? What will be your security strategy?

College Basketball, combining passion and tradition, is a sensational ride to experience. Emotions run high because you believe and fight for something – your school alma mater, your school spirit. But if your concept of school spirit is to translate your emotion to anger and your means to express those feelings is to turn to violence, man, get a life, you are in the wrong business.

According to the NCAA Mancom, they have warned the Araneta security personnel about an instance like this might happen. They even requested ropes and some kind of equipment to aid them in their crowd control efforts. But I guess the security personnel took it for granted and R109 turned out to be a UFC Ringside venue without the barricades.

But again, who is accountable?




12 responses

3 09 2007


That’s an interesting question.

One can say that the person who started the whole thing was responsible and should be held accountable. One can also argue that it was security, because they let spectators get away with things. One can also say that it was the ManCom, for not imposing harsher penalties in the past that might have discouraged such behavior. One can also argue that the people in the immediate area of the stands, those people in R109, who might have be held accountable, for not policing their ranks.

Or is it just a case of too much machismo? Or a culture where being able to say that you’re better than another person in one way or another is something to be proud of? Or simply a bad case of sourgraping?

The sad thing about violence like this is that there is really not much that can be done to directly address the problem. Sure, you can ban one person from the games, and maybe even file charges and get him locked away. But there are other spectators, and as you pointed out, security only does so much.

Responsibility falls on everyone, it seems. Remembering that and constant vigilance, it seems, are all we have.

3 09 2007

I’ve read so many posts on the internet regarding this incident. While this maybe an isolated case in a specific league it may be a tell-tale sign of how warped the average Filipino basketball fan’s concept of sportsmanship really is. This behavior is not limited to the collegiate ranks but can also be seen in other levels (e.g.,Barangay Ginebra).
While sports rivalries may be entertaining and add color to collegiate life, if it spills over into the realm of violence then we really have to ask why compete athletically at all?

3 09 2007
Me only Me

Jeering is constant in college hoops in both the NCAA and the UAAP.

What happened?

Someone as unable to take the jeer that both sides were throwing at each other.

Unfortunately, the assitant coaches of Letran could not take the heat.

By the way, are those two really from San Beda?

Rumors are spreading that they were planted there for a purpose by a third party who will benefit from an “expected” suspension.

3 09 2007

Me only Me,

Planted or not, both sides indeed went beyond what was expected. Everyone must police thier own ranks to prevent a repeat of the incident.

The symbolic exchange between San Beda and Letran should serve as a reminder that we should create bridges and not walls.

We all have to police our ranks from troublemakers even from our own schools. This is the only way.

Arriba Letran!
Animo San Beda!

3 09 2007

I was there along with my 2 kids (11 & 12 Yrs old) my wife and brother in law, we were seated in the first row near the ring post near the Letran bench, my take is simple, mel alas and reyes are clearly with Letran, the spectator they have a beef with who are they really? the letran coaching staff are suppose to be pros (they are getting paid for coaching) there is a higher expectation from pros, he should have restrain himself, what is their evidence that the person he mauled is the one he has a beef with, but what thing is clearly evident alas and reyes has no business in the seating section of the ringside of araneta,what if my family was hurt? it your fault alas your the one who charged! clearly that is an and one situation.


3 09 2007

i agree. its the pros fault and in order to prevent this from happening again, pros coach and their personnel should be banned or at least suspended. secondly, the respective school should also be faulted for the melee. the school is responsible for educating their respective crowd, student and alumni alike. they were not able to police their own rank. worse, they threw kerosene in a burning house.sportmanship goes beyond the court, and we cannot tolerate this kind of hooliganism in front of our children’s eyes.uaap already abandoned this, ncaa should follow.

3 09 2007

In the UAAP, I’m glad that nothing like this has happened so far this season. I just hope this won’t happen this Sunday during the Ateneo-La Salle 2nd round match.

3 09 2007

Simply put, hooliganism should not be allowed or tolerated in local college hoops or in any sport for that matter, and that consultation between the team officials/representatives and supporters is one option to help combat hooliganism in college basketball.Also, the coliseum/arena police/security should be the main authority in controlling any form of hooliganism.

A history of rivalry is just not a good excuse for hooliganism to persist.

4 09 2007

ang pikon lagi talo.

4 09 2007

ganyan ang pagsusulat ng article, hindi biased.. keep up the good work Mike Abasolo!

8 09 2007

“ang pikon lagi talo” dang watta reasoning,,,

hindi po pikunan ang laro, basketball po, unless your idea of basketball is beating your opponent sa insulto at babatuhin mo ng piso pag d mo maasar eh sige ikw nalang manalo palagi.

8 09 2007

very non-sense of you batang kalentong.. “ang pikon ay laging talo” is a saying often used. hindi ito laro. ofcourse basketball ang laro hindi pikunan. kantyawan is inevitable sa college basketball. pag binato ka ng kantyaw gantihan mo ng kantyaw, don’t thro a punch coz after all its just a game…

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