Losing really gets to some people, doesn't it? The agony of defeat takes its toll on even the most level-headed fellows, and sometimes leads to disastrous results.
Two nights ago, the Barako Bull Energy engaged in a do-or-die game with the Powerade Tigers. Sure, there were some questionable calls, and non-calls, throughout the game, but that's standard fare. At the end of it all, Powerade prevailed, 99-95, and earned the right to meet the Meralco Bolts in last night's second knockout game, to determine the last entrant in the semifinal round.
By now you may have heard that Barako veteran power forward/center Don Allado went on a Twitter rampage a few hours after his team got knocked out of the Governors' Cup. His rampage was directed against the league itself, the PBA, where this veteran big man has been playing for thirteen seasons. In a series of tweets, Allado basically said that the entire league is rigged, that the PBA has lost all credibility, and that he felt rancor and bitterness, not against Powerade, which sent his team packing for the season, but against the league itself, for choosing who moves on and who does not.
Allado has 15,454 Twitter followers to date, and all of them, presumably, read his rants, and the news spread like wildfire. Screenshots of his tweets were posted online at lightning speed and obviously, the office of PBA Commissioner Attorney Chito Salud got wind of the situation, and by midday, both Salud and his Media Bureau Chief, Willie Marcial, had issued statements that they would definitely look into the matter and mete out the appropriate sanctions for the evidently damaging statements by Allado against the PBA.
Incidentally, Allado aggravated an already volatile situation by tweeting a couple more times, basically asking for a sanction and threatening that he would expose certain persons in the process. He also bragged that he is the player that says what others cannot, or choose not to.
On his official twitter account, he warns possible followers to expect "Strong nudity, violence, and language." He then says, "Viewer discretion is advised."
I covered the knockout game between Powerade and Meralco last night, the evening of 04 July 2012, and at halftime, my partner, Quinito Henson, interviewed Commissioner Salud on the matter. Salud was manifestly furious. He spoke strongly against the actions of Allado, saying that Allado had definitely "crossed the line" and his tweets were irresponsible, baseless, and an affront not only on the present players, owners, and officials of the league, but to all past players, owners and officials. Salud mentioned that Allado was scheduled to appear at his office this morning, 05 July 2012, to explain, defend, clarify, or whatever other manner is necessary, in an attempt to justify his tirade against the PBA.
Quinito then asked Salud what the possible sanctions against Allado would be. The reply: "A fine, a suspension, and possibly a ban from the league." But of course, the good attorney reminded all that Allado would be given "a chance to explain" and that due process would be afforded him.
I covered a bunch of Barako Bull games this season. Don Allado, a two-time UAAP MVP, was playing great basketball all season long, hitting his usual perimeter jumpers, battling inside for rebounds, enjoying the game that has supported him and his family for more than a decade. He is one of the so-called "Manong Brigade" for the Energy. He is even immortalized in the PBA trailer shown before games, posing in Tebow fashion on the Araneta Coliseum hardcourt. He is a fun person, as he proved when he was a co- host at the AKTV Center during a PBA coverage earlier in the season, and I have personally seen him horsing around with his teammates and other players while warming up pre-game. He is a veteran and is friends with many, if not most of the players. His assault on the league was very, very surprising. Hurling such serious accusations would usually mean that the person making them has a truckload of evidence to back up his statements. I doubt if Don has any, aside from some bad calls by certain referees and, sad to say, being on the losing end of the scoreboard two nights ago.
Last night, after Meralco ousted Powerade and entered the semifinal round, my colleague Magoo Marjon showed me the apology that Allado had posted online. He apologized to Salud, to the league, to the fans, to everybody connected with the PBA. His harmful tweets had been deleted earlier in the day, but, as previously mentioned, the damage had already been done.
Today was indeed judgment day for Don Allado. We can be certain that the apology mitigated the penalty. The sanction is firm and, considering what was done, it is also fair. Allado must pay a fine of P500,000.00 (P300,000.00 to the players' educational trust fund, and P200,000.00 to a charitable institution of Allado's choice). On top of that, Allado cannot play in the first conference of next season, a one-conference ban from all PBA-related activities. According to the Office of the Commissioner, this judgment is final and unappealable.
Social media has found a way into all our lives. One tweet can reach thousands of people in a second. A friend just told me yesterday to take note of H.A.L.T., i.e., to never make an important decision when you're hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. Don Allado made a very important decision in his life when he chose to send out those tweets. He may have been angry and tired, frustrated and forlorn, after his team's season came to an end. His decision, however, has cost him some cash and some game time. In the eyes of many, it may have cost him much more.
Follow Charlie on Twitter: @CharlieC
Editor's note: The blogger's views do not represent Yahoo! Southeast Asia's position on the topic or issue being discussed in this post.