Prolific yet volatile import Glen Rice Jr. has finally admitted his “wrong actions” and apologized to TNT management more than a month after he was ejected from Game 4 of the PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals between the Katropa and the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, who eventually won the championship for a second straight year.
The former TNT import, who is the 26-year-old son of NBA great Glen Rice, was thrown out of the court after he was whistled for a flagrant foul penalty 1 for shoving Ginebra’s Kevin Ferrer on the neck during that Oct. 8 game. He then committed a technical foul when he threw the ball at the fallen rookie, prompting the referees to call for his outright banishment.
The 6’5” import from Miami, Florida exploded with rage after hearing the referees’ decision and refused to be pacified by his teammates and even by TNT officials. Heckled by Ginebra fans, Rice responded by taunting and making indecent gestures at them on his way out of the Smart Araneta Coliseum playing court.
With their import gone, the Texters suffered a meltdown, losing an 18-point third-quarter lead and allowing Ginebra to post a climactic 105-115 Game 4 victory, taking the best-of-five series, 3-1.
Two days later, Rice hurriedly flew to the U.S. without even talking to any TNT official.
For his “undesirable, unprofessional, unruly, and unsportsmanlike behavior,” TNT management later fined Rice $10,000 to be deducted from his salary. This was in addition to the P26,000 fine earlier imposed by PBA Commissioner Chito Narvasa for committing flagrant foul penalty 1 and a technical foul on Ferrer, flashing the dirty finger gesture at the fans, and disrespecting league and team officials.
In his letter to TNT management, a copy of which was obtained by Spin.com, Rice admitted that the action he took then was “wrong” but that it was spurred by his “passion for the game of basketball.”
“I would like to sincerely apologize for my reaction and explain to you all that my passion for the game of basketball take my emotions to another level that sometimes come out wrong,” read part of Rice’s letter, which was addressed to TNT alternate governor Patrick Gregorio, team manager Virgil Villavicencio, coach Nash Racela, and lead deputy Josh Reyes.
Rice also still insisted that his ejection in the game was uncalled for. “But regardless of the game, or the wrongful ejection, I was wrong and my actions was wrong (sic),” he said.
Rice appeared to have drafted the letter of apology to gain TNT’s clearance for him to be able to play for the Hapoel Holon ballclub in the Israeli Premier Basketball League. On Saturday, Rice led his new team to a fifth straight win, beating the Maccabi Ashdod club in overtime, 109-106. Rice scored 43 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in that game.