The Philippine Basketball Association is letting the ‘lutong-luto’ issue pass after the league failed to secure sufficient evidence against the delegate responsible for issuing the controversial remark during Game 3 of the semifinal series between Meralco and Brgy. Ginebra.
Commissioner Willie Marcial instead reminded Meralco as well as the rest of the teams to be more mindful of what their players, coaches and staff say during games and warned that violations of the same nature will be dealt with severe penalty.
“Hindi lang sa Meralco kundi sa lahat ng teams na mag-ingat sila sa mga sinasabi nila. Dahil oras na malaman namin at mahuli namin na sila yun, sigurado bibigyan ko sila ng malaking fine at baka may suspension pa,” said Marcial.
“Sigurado nakatutok na kami ngayon sa kanila,” he added.
The Bolts came under fire after an unidentified personnel shouted “Ref, lutong-luto to ah!” during a dead-ball situation in the 10:04 mark of the final frame and Gin Kings on top, 66-56.
Veteran big Reynel Hugnatan was initially pinned as the culprit by fans online since he was seen arguing with a game official at around the same time the remark was made.
The 42-year old Ilonggo, however, vehemently denied uttering those words.
“Sure ako, hindi ako ang nagsabi ‘nun,” said Hugnatan. “Nagkataon lang na ako ‘yung nandoon na parang nagrereklamo. Narinig nila siguro ‘yung salita na ‘yun tapos timig na ‘yung camera, nasa akin kaya lahat ng nanonood, akala nila ako ang nagsabi.”
Without a witness, a confession or video evidence, Marcial stressed that the league can’t proceed with the case.
“Wala tayong makuha na ebidensiya. Hindi naman tayo ganun na turu-turo lang or hinala lang. Pangit naman yun,” said Marcial.