MANILA,  November 13, 2004 (STAR) By Nelson Beltran and Nikko Dizon - Talk n Text center Paul Asi Taulava remained suspended indefinitely after the PBA board yesterday denied his appeal for reinstatement even as another suspected Fil-sham, Red Bull’s Jon Ordonio, had reportedly left the country to avoid arrest from Bureau of Immigration operatives already armed with a warrant.

Of the six players suspended indefinitely by the PBA, only Taulava made an appeal.

After a thorough deliberation participated in by Talk n Text board representative Ricky Vargas, the board voted to turn down Taulava’s two appeals for reinstatement.

"We denied his appeal but it’s without prejudice to the case he filed in the court," said board chairman Buddy Encarnado.

Gary de Jesus, chief counsel of Taulava, told The STAR that they will bring the matter to the court since they’re determined to seek justice for the beleaguered Talk n Text player.

"Since may decision na ang PBA board, hindi na premature ang pagpunta namin sa korte," said De Jesus.

The Bureau of Immigration ordered yesterday the arrest of Ordonio after he failed to secure a TRO from the court after the 15-day grace period for his summary deportation expired last Thursday.

But sources told The STAR yesterday that Ordonio has already left the country, thus freeing himself from the embarrassment of being arrested and deported.

"Unless he voluntarily leaves, we will have no choice but to serve this warrant (of deportation) to him next week to implement his deportation," said Immigration commissioner Alipio Fernandez Jr.

Earlier, Fernandez said Ordonio could still leave the country without being arrested over the weekend and on Monday since immigration agents are banned from serving mission orders during weekends and holiday. Nov. 15 has been declared a non-working holiday in celebration of the Eid Il Fitr, or the end of the Ramadan of the Muslim faith.

The BI board of commissioners ordered the summary deportation of Ordonio and fellow Red Bull cagers Mick Pennisi and Davonn Harp, Alex Crisano of Barangay Ginebra, and Rudy Hatfield of Coca-Cola after the Justice Department ruled that the players faked their Philippine citizenship to be able to play in the PBA.

Crisano and Hatfield both managed to obtain a TRO from the courts, preventing the BI from executing the deportation order.

On the other hand, Pennisi and Harp left the country last Nov. 6. They have been placed on the immigration watchlist, an additional penalty for illegal aliens found to have violated Philippine immigration laws.

Meanwhile, Paolo Mendoza went 9-of-12 from the three-point arc and finished with a career-high 35 points as Sta. Lucia Realty made it two in a row with a 124-118 bashing of FedEx in the Gran Matador PBA Philippine Cup at the Astrodome last night.

In the absence of the injured Kenneth Duremdes, five other Realtors churned out big numbers as the team stoked the fire of their 86-69 win over Coca-Cola Sunday.

"We’re back and we’ll continue fighting," said Sta. Lucia coach Alfrancis Chua.

FedEx suffered its fifth loss against four wins.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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