No fines on Racela, Chua for verbal spat, but PBA to enforce ‘strict dugout procedure’

In the aftermath of the verbal tussle involving TNT coach Nash Racela and Barangay Ginebra governor Alfrancis Chua Friday night, PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa reminded both squads of the league’s dugout procedures, which will be “strictly implemented” in Game 4 onwards.

Narvasa served as one of the peacemakers during the height of the verbal spat between Racela and Chua, who was quickly pulled back to the Ginebra dugout by coach Tim Cone in halftime of Game 3.

Racela did not immediately went to the TNT dugout during halftime and at the end of Game 3, won by Ginebra, 106-103. He was seen standing at the hallway just outside the glass door leading to TNT’s dugout with Narvasa and PBA media bureau chief Willy Marcial telling the Katropa coach to just go to their dugout.

READ: Ginebra regains series lead with narrow win v TNT in tense Game 3

READ: Tim Cone attributes 43 free throws in Game 3 to Ginebra’s ‘aggressive plays’

Asked to comment, the league commissioner said the halftime verbal tussle between Racela and Chua happens from time to time, not just in the PBA but even collegiate leagues as well,

“That (tension between both teams) always happens with people with very high competitive spirits,” Narvasa told FOX Sports on Saturday.  “It happens in school leagues, too and I’m just glad it started and ended with that.”

Narvasa explained the situation reached boiling point in Game 3 simply because both teams failed to “observe” the dugout procedures, while admitting the PBA was a “bit lenient” as well.

“We have an existing dugout procedure which was a bit lenient and which people did not follow. (But) I gave it more teeth, meaning, it now has corresponding fines (if not followed),” stressed the league commissioner.

Narvasa added that as far as the events surrounding Game 3 is concerned, he won’t be assessing fines on Racela and Chua, but reminded TNT and Ginebra to strictly follow the dugout procedures come Sunday’s Game 4.

READ: Expect ‘war’ in Game 4 as Ginebra tries to deal knockout punch on TNT

“(For) last night, no fines. But the team closest to the exit leaves (the court) first (during halftime and after the game) and has to enter their dugout immediately. The second team has to wait for our signal before they exit. No one should be in the common hallway when the second team exits and like the first team, it is required to immediately enter its dugout,” explained Narvasa.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @richava