PBA FANS HURT IN POSTGAME MELEE

MANILA, September 12, 2003 (STAR) By Nelson Beltran  - One fan was severely hurt while others sustained injuries as Ginebra and Red Bull Barako supporters clashed outside the Philsports Arena after the contest between the Gin Kings and the Thunder in the Pasig sports venue Wednesday night.

Manny Ugara, a PBA habitué and Ginebra fan, was to undergo operation at the Medical City yesterday after suffering a serious injury near the eye.

The two groups figured in a melee at the Javier St. just behind the arena and the Valle Verde Country Club in an apparent offshoot of a heated jeering and heckling during the game.

It was actually the second rumble between the two groups after the first incident at the parking lot of the Araneta Coliseum last year.

In the light of the two incidents, PBA commissioner Noli Eala is appealing to local officials to beef up securities in the venues where the league holds games.

Eala will also ask the ballclubs to caution their supporters from resorting to violent outbursts during and after the games.

"The PBA acknowledges that healthy rivalry is good for the league and cultivating a fan base is important but it must be tempered so that it will not lead to hooliganism on and off the court," said Eala.

Meanwhile, San Miguel will bring in a new import in Eric Dailey in lieu of the injured Shea Seals as the Beermen play the Purefoods Hotdogs today in the Samsung PBA Reinforced Conference eliminations at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.

The Beermen and the Hotdogs clash at 7:30 p.m. with both teams going for a first win in three starts. The Coca-Cola Tigers gun for a third straight win while the Shell Turbochargers eye a second win in three starts as they play in the other game at 5 p.m.

Seals was put on the injured list as he suffered a pulled muscle on his left leg in his return stint with San Miguel last Friday. The Beermen were fortunate Dailey was ready to fly on short notice while with a US touring team in Shanghai, China.

Dailey, a product of West Carolina and TCU with playing stints practically in all big leagues around the world, arrived Wednesday evening.

"If he’s in game shape, hindi tayo mapapahiya because he’s a seasoned basketball player. His wife Shelley is an assistant coach in the WNBA, so parang the Pumaren family iyan...they eat, drink and sleep basketball," said Dailey’s agent Mike Gonzales.

At 31, Dailey has had tours of duty in Portugal, Finland, Spain, Argentina, France, Japan and Hong Kong among others. He attended the recent Dallas Mavericks summer camp.

San Miguel lost its first game to Barangay Ginebra while playing importless and dropped the second one to FedEx with Seals limping out of the court in the third quarter.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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