Teng-kyu, Teng-kyu

Bonifacio High Street
October 1, 2013
Teng-kyu, Teng-kyu

This is perhaps the first time in the history of collegiate basketball in the Philippines that two brothers are facing each other in a finals. On this case, its the UAAP Season 76 championship. A best-of-three series that opens on Wednesday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum. And I’m referring to La Salle’s Jeron Teng and his elder brother, Kuya Jeric from University of Santo Tomas.

On this one humid night somewhere in the Bonifacio Global City, Jeron, Jeric and their parents, former PBA star Alvin Teng and wife Susan, held a mini presser attended by some of the country’s leading print and online sportswriters including yours truly, the friendly neighborhood Sportsmaryosep. Plus some television people. It was a simple question-and-answer portion that lasted about a little over an hour. We got to pop the questions that we want to ask. From the mundane to the matters concerning the rudiments of the game to serious business.
And the Teng family had a lot to say. Particularly the brothers Karamazov. I mean Teng. Pardon me, Mr. Fyodor Dostoyevsky. I got to throw a question on how physical Jeron and Jeric could get once they end up guarding each other in crucial situations, which is a likely possibility considering that they’re not that different in terms of size and bulk. Jeric says they’ve played each other since they were kids, both as teammates and competitors alike. And they haven’t held back when they played one on one, which is a lot considering they’ve been brothers for nearly two decades. “Lagi naman kami physical sa isa’t-isa. Minsan nga nagkakapikonan pa kami,” says Jeric. For Jeron, he says he’ll guard his brother if it boils down to the last shot. “Yes, I will guard him and deny him the ball,” he says. “Kevin will probably guard him in the crucial moments,” Jeric responds referring to his teammate Kevin Ferrer.

Both Jeron and Jeric stresses also they will not take it against their teammates if and when one of them get accidentally hurt. “As long as its just physical and not dirty, I guess that’s okay because this is basketball, its a physical game,” says Jeric.
As for the parents, the Tengs are cautious in making statements about which team will win the crown saying they’re split on the matter. “Alvin and one of our daughters will sit behind Jeric, my other daughter and I will sit behind Jeron para walang away,” says the Teng matriarch. “May the best team wins,” the man old guys like us call The Robocop for obvious reasons.
As for their PBA idols, Jeric and Jeron idolizes San Mig Coffee’s James Yap. NBA? Jeric is crazy of LeBron James while Jeron has gone ga-ga with Kevin Durant. Interestingly, Jeric as a senior and Jeron as a rookie played together at Xavier where they won a championship. “Since sya mas matanda, natatandaan ko lagi nya ako pinapasahan,” recalls Jeron.

As for fearless forecasts, Madam Auring-style, Jeric thinks it will last only two games while Jeron expects the series to go the distance.
Both Jeric and Jeron think this is probably the first and only time in their collegiate lives they’re going to play each other in a finale so they will not let this one golden chance pass. And its all because of the bragging rights. “He will probably brag about this for the rest of our lives if I lose to him,” says Jeric. “Kelangan manalo ako, kung hindi baka sa PBA na ulit ako makabawi sa kanya,” says Jeron.
What struck me the most is when Jeron apologizes to Jeric in advance after announcing La Salle will win the title. “I keep saying sorry in advance because we will win the championship,” says Jeron. Jeric has these answer: “Sinasabi lang nya yun para mawala nerbyos nya, kinakabahan siguro sya kaya nya sinabi yun. Tignan natin sa Wednesday.”
And we have a war over here.
Follow Sportsmaryosep on Twitter: @JoeySVillar


(Photos courtesy of Paul Ryan Tan and Aileen Palero)


Tiger Balm

Lipa City, Batangas
September 28,2013

It’s our ninth month since my wife and I got married. She’s eight and a half months pregnant now. And we’re celebrating in some coffee shop here in Lipa City on this one cold, rainy night. It turned out to be a double celebration as University of Santo Tomas brought down National U, 76-69, to clinch the last spot to the UAAP Season 76 Finals. There, the Tigers will face the La Salle Archers in a best-of-three championship. For all the marbles. Flashback to the 90s when, to tell you all honestly, the time when I started to write sports stories, first with the Manila Times, then for The Philippine STAR, the paper you read from cover to cover (Shameless!).
You see, my wife is ecstatic. Delirious actually. She’s a UST alumna and went to high school at La Salle-Lipa. It’s a win-win situation. But she tells me her heart is for the Tigers. She’s like that with me at this stage of her pregnancy. Tigress to the end. My sister-in-law, my kuya’s wife, is also from UST, by the way. For everyone, I’m neither from a UAAP school or NCAA school. Whichever school wins, I don’t give a S#@t! But when my wife in front of me, you know which team I’ll cheer, right?
The reason I’m writing this blog is the awe I’m feeling on how UST achieve the impossible. Ateneo has MVP, or telecommunication honcho and sports philantrophist Manny V. Pangilinan. La Salle has San Miguel’s Danding Cojuangco. National U has Henry Sy and the massive SM chain of malls. And MOA Arena too. Now who or what is feeding the Tigers? Who is supporting UST?
I joked that it was Bulaluhan sa Espana. Familiar with that food joint past Blumentrit in Espana just before Welcome Rotonda? That’s open 24 hours a day and its famous for its Bulalo and grilled hito (catfish). It makes me hungry thinking of it. Or perhaps Pansitan sa Dapitan, if there’s such a joint.
Inquirer assistant sports editor Francis Ochoa answers these: The valiant legions. Thomasians. Julius Manicad, the burly, Metta World Peace-like reporter from The Daily Tribune, says God is a Thomasian. Abac Cordero, our senior reporter at The STAR, says its Erap. Malaya’s seasoned reporter Manolo Pedralvez butted in and says its Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile. I answered I hope its not Napoles, the brains behind the mother of all scams. But whoever is funding UST must be feeding it with a lot of Gatorade or Cobra or some adrenaline pump.
The Tigers, to tell you honestly, are poor as hell. What’s funding them are the generous alumni who chipped in here and there to make ends meet. And the crowd support too, which is crazy as hell. It’s like four-peat all over again in the 90s. The Aric magic of coach Aric del Rosario is back. Only its with Pido Jarencio, the quotable coach who steered the Tigers to their last championship in 2006. And I remembered 2006. They came from a miserable 2-5 (win-loss) start, ended up tied with Admason at No. 3, beat No. 2 seed Bon Bon Custodio and the University of the East Warriors twice in the Final Four before facing Ateneo in the best-of-three finale. You know that one is a classic right? Ateneo won Game One on a buzzer-beating alley-oop shot by Doug Kramer with exactly a second to go. UST got a reprieve when “Milenyo” forced the UAAP to postpone Game Two, taking away the momentum factor from the Eagles. The Tigers won Game Two and then edged the Eagles in overtime in the deciding Game Three. History.
Now its La Salle vs UST. They’ve faced four times in the UAAP Finals with the Tigers winning the first three as the culmination of their four-peat in in the mid-90s before the Archers, then composed of Ren Ren Ritualo, Don Allado, Dino Aldeguer and team captain Francis Zamora, who is now a Vice Mayor in San Juan, got back in 1999 to win it all.
It will also be Jeric Teng vs Jeron Teng. Sibling rivalry, these sons of Alvin “Robocop” Teng. It’s also nice to see Pido Jarencio taking on Juno Sauler. For me the winner there should be Coach of the Year hands down.
But its intriguing to see how UST’s journey has turned out. First it dethroned five-peat champion Ateneo to make it to the Final Four. They then stunned top seed NU to become the first No. 4 seed team to ever make the finals since the Final Four format was introduced in 1994. And now La Salle. Do I see a Cinderella finish here? Perhaps UST’s secret is, as ludicrous as it sounds, is PPP. Puso, Palaban Pride. Or is it the Tiger balm?
Follow Sportsmaryosep on Twitter: @JoeySVillar

(Photos courtesy of Paul Ryan Tan)

Eye of the Tiger

Shakey’s Malate
September 24, 2013
Eye of the Tiger

On this one lazy day at the Shakey’s near the Malate Church fronting the breathtaking Manila Bay, UAAP Final Four protagonists University of Santo Tomas and National U were lined up as guests in the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum just before noon. The Tigers were represented by their coach Pido Jarencio while the Bulldogs their mentor Eric Altamirano and their top dog, former two-time MVP Bobby Ray Parks, Jr.

It turned out the calm noon will be laced with booming fireworks by no less than Jarencio himself.
In a story written by Rueben Terrado of spin.ph, the words that came out in Jarencio’s mouth spewed nothing but scud missiles laced with tear gas on the side. Jarencio, one of the funniest, most entertaining and quotable coaches in Phl basketball next probably to the living legend Robert, “Sonny” Jaworski, Sr., had so many things to say about Parks accusing Kevin Ferrer of playing too physical in their Final Four duel that led to a Tigers win, 71-62, Sunday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.


“Dapat alam mo kung ano laro dito sa Pilipinas (You should know by now the Phl’s type of game by now),” Jarencio told sportswriters not realizing that Parks and Altamirano have heard it all.
It was Jarencio’s reaction to Parks commenting days before that the Tigers were a little too rough and physical against him and the rest of the Bulldogs. Here’s what Parks said also on spin.ph: “Playing RP team with him, I never really thought that he will come out like this. Coming into the game, he grabbed my finger and my wrist … Just a little too low. Coming back into the game, Kevin Ferrer grabbed my wrist and finger. I don’t know what to say.
And more: “I guess they were thirsty for the win. I guess we have to come out and play, not having an intention to hurt somebody. But hey, we have a lot of complaints in there. Jean (Mbe) had his balls grabbed. It’s just the craziest thing. We just have to come back and play aggressive. Play clean and aggressive.”

Parks, who would have made history as the first player to have ever won three straight MVP plums if FEU’s Terrence Bill Romeo hadn’t snatched it, also went to point of comparing himself to no less than His Airness himself, Michael Jordan, the Greatest Of All Time while analogizing the Tigers as the Bad Boys of Detroit Pistons in the NBA’s late 80s and early 90s.
“Hey, my dad’s been through a lot of players like that. Michael Jordan had Detroit. This is my Detroit right here. That’s just the easiest way to say it,” Parks said.

And then Parks got a dose of vitriol from Jarencio after it. “Kasi ako nung araw, softdrinks lang, nakikipagpatayan na ako … ‘Yun ang laro ng mga Pilipino kaya nga tayo kinakatakutan sa Asia. May shooting, speed, at ‘yung puso natin buo. Matapang ang mga players kaya tayo nag-number one sa Asia hanggang sa dumating na ‘yung impluwensiya ng mga Amerikano, nag-iba ang laro, ilag-ilag nalang tayo, medyo nawala. Kita niyo naman ‘yung Gilas. Ang sipag, patayan, ganun ang laro ng mga Pilipino. ‘Yun lang. Opinyon ko ‘yun. Pilay kung pilay.
Parks answer to that? “See you on Saturday.”
Sportsmaryosep’s Prognosis: Look, this is a democratic country. Parks and Jarencio can say anything as long as it is within the bounds of the law. They have the right to be emotional too considering what is at stake in their Final Four series. The Bulldogs are eyeing their first finals appearance since more than half a century ago. Their last UAAP championship came when you and I are not born yet–1954. You could see how hungry NU is for a championship. As for UST, it is coming off a failed attempt last year when it lost to dethroned five-peat champ Ateneo. It’s last crown came seven years ago. So you know the two teams are giving all it can to achieve their goals. Sadly, only one of them will make it to the finals versus the winner of the La Salle-FEU showdown on the other side of the Final Four fence. And it all boils down to that one game on Saturday. For all the marbles. No tomorrow. So forgive their French if they say something explosive. As for playing physical, you probably saw how Jeff Javillonar BULLDOZED a smaller Jeric Teng from behind in their first round meeting. It injured Teng’s shoulder and its a good thing it wasn’t career-ending. It sidelined Teng though for a month. Did you hear Jarencio mince a single word? Now someone grabbed your fingers and wrist and you call it too low? Ask Teng what is low. Heck, Javillonar, your teammate, himself can tell you. Sorry Bobby Ray, the Tigers are not the Bad Boys of this generation. If UST is your Detroit, then you’ll probably in a hospital right now and not complaining how sore  your wrist and fingers are.
The Big J have some words for you Bobby Ray. He sends you his regards and these words: “Kung ayaw mo masaktan, mag-CHESS ka na lang.”

Follow Sportsmaryosep on Twitter: @JoeySVillar


(Photos courtesy of Filoil Flying V)

Huey, Dewey, Louie

Marikina Riverpark
September 20, 2013
Huey, Dewey, Louie

I love tennis.
The reason I do is because of my pregnant wife. You see, the love of my life, Kristel, loves tennis. She’s crazy about it. We’re so in love with the sport, in fact, that we will probably allow our son to play tennis first, not chess, my first love, nor basketball. We’ll probably name our toddler Rafa, perhaps Roger. Maybe Djoko.
So I’m writing about tennis.
And the tennis personality I’m writing about is Treat Conrad Huey. Huey is a 28-year-old pro whose mother is a Filipina and father an American. But if you meet the guy, he’s every bit a Filipino. He plays for flag and country every chance he had. Recently, he spearheaded the country’s Davis Cup campaign against the taller, higher-ranked New Zealand at the posh Plantation Bay Resorts and Spa (Thank you VP Efren Belarmino) in Lapu Lapu City, Cebu. We lost, 2-3, but we showed them we’re no pushovers. We’re never-say-die. Like Brgy. Gnebra fans.
This Huey I’m talking about is not just a name. He’s ranked 28th in the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) rankings. His partnership with Great Britain’s Dominic Inglot is world class. The pair, in fact, is ranked 13th in the world. The two finished in the quarterfinals of the US Open in New York two weeks ago. They beat the third seed only to fall in the quarters.
Sportsmaryosep had a chance to talk with Treat. He’s a quiet, a little introvert-type of guy. But he’s generally nice and talked to us local writers, myself, the Phl Daily Inquirer’s Marc Anthony Reyes, Tempo editor-in-chief and sports editor Rey Bancod and Sports Radio’s Judith Caringal.
Treat is good-looking too. And good news to the ladies out there, he’s still single and ready to mingle. She considers Ana Ivanovic as a bombshell. You’ll probably need to play killer tennis to wow the dude. He likes everything longganisa. I mean everything. From Lucban, to chorizo to simple longganisas. Serve it and he’ll consume it. Back to his love life, he’ll probably stay single for a while. He’s focused on winning a Grand Slam. He’s 28 years old. He and Inglot will probably win one or two or a bunch some day. Tennis players, especially the doubles specialists, have long life. They’ll reach 40 years and they’re still capable of winning. And Treat plans to hang for a while.
Unless you knock him out of his senses. It can happen. As they say, love conquers all.
In the meantime, Treat is married to tennis. I’m married to someone who loves tennis. Our son will probably love tennis too. I’ll probably name my son Treat. Or Huey. Future Grand Slam doubles champion.
I really love tennis.
Follow Sportsmaryosep on Twitter: @JoeySVillar

(Photo courtesy of Marc Anthony Reyes)

Terrence MVP Romeo

Ampid, San Mateo, Rizal
September 19, 2013
Terrence MVP Romeo

I have been in isolation for several days now, away from my loving, pregnant wife. As I’m trying to recover from this sickness, I’ve tried and failed to come up with great blog ideas no thanks to general malaise, or the feeling of just being plainly out of sorts, that prevents me from coming up with one. Until a friend of mine, handsome statistics guy Pong Docanes from the UAAP, e-mailed me the statistical summary a few hours ago. And here we are with a story to write about.
Pong, who happens to be the lifetime commissioner of the UAAP Friendship Basketball Games, a side tournament to the ongoing UAAP Season 76 cage wars, practically gave away who the MVP of this season will be. And its no other than Far Eastern U’s dynamic guard in Terrence Romeo.

Thanks to a strong start, Romeo will become the seventh Tamaraw to ever win the highest individual plum in recent memory next to teammate RR Garcia in 2010, Arwind Santos in 2004 and 2005, Johnny Abarrientos in 1991, Glen Capacio in 1983, Anthony Williams in 1981 and Joselino Roa in 1961. Romeo averaged a league-high 22.21 points, 6.29 rebounds, 3.93 assists and another league best 1.57 steals a game.
Romeo also prevented National U’s Bobby Ray Parks, Jr. from becoming the first three-time winner of the MVP plum. Parks, who won the award the last two seasons, wound up only third in the race behind Romeo and University of the East’s Sierria Leone national Charles Mammie. Parks would have made a historic third straight MVP trophy if he hadn’t started slow. Imagine if he does scored more points, grabbed more rebounds, passed more and played defense even tougher, he would have handily beaten Romeo. Anyway, Parks normed 18.29 points, 8.43 boards, 3.79 assists, 1.07 steals and the same number of blocks, which put him in the First Mythical Team to the least.

Romeo also had some luck in winning the MVP as Charles Mammie would have won it if not for the suspensions he received this season. A suspension, just one, automatically eliminates a player from contending in any individual award including the MVP. The 6-7 Mammie has 75 statistical points, just a shade behind Romeo’s 75.2857. Deductions have been made so imagine the overall points of Mammie if his “misdemeanors” didn’t happen. So Romeo should also thank the UAAP commissioner for a great job manning the league CCTV camera. For all intents and purposes, Mammie’s averages are 15.08 points and an astonishing 19 rebounds.

University of Santo Tomas’ Karim Abdul is the other real legitimate threat to Romeo’s MVP award as he finished four with 70.9286 statistical points with norms of 16.36 points, 12.14 rebounds and two blocks a game. Rounding up the list were University of the East’s Roi Sumang, NU’s Emmanuel Mbe, La Salle’s Jason Perkins and Jeron Teng, Ateneo’s Christopher Newsome and another La Salle bet Almond Vosotros. Surprsingly, there was no Kiefer Ravena on the list since the phenom have struggled with foot injuries the first half of the season. Maybe next year for Kiefer.
Sportsmaryosep’s prognosis: Admit it, no one saw this coming, Terrence Romeo emerging as MVP. But here he is, Romeo defying expectations by making people eat their words, including ours. It’s a good thing too he didn’t listen to former Ateneo standout Nico Salva to pass the ball. Otherwise he wouldn’t score 22 points a game and become what he is right now. What is separating Romeo from Salva though is the winning. Salva has won five championships in college alone and two Finals MVP. Now time to win one Terrence.
Follow Sportsmaryosep on Twitter: @JoeySVillar


(Photos courtesy of Filoil Flying V)

Dura lex, sed lex

Lapu Lapu City, Cebu
September 12, 2013
Dura lex, sed lex

We’re not in law school. I also knew little about it. Except this one, which answers.com defines as “The law is harsh, but it is the law. What ever hardship a law may cause an individual, the particular law is existing for the benefit of the community and the harmony it brings. A person really has rights that are to be observed but the privelege of the enjoyment of this rights should be in consideration to what is good for all.”
Now why am I saying these? You see, the UAAP board, them with powers encompassing even the basketball gods, has spared the Ateneo Blue Eagles a possible forfeiture when their coach, Bo Perasol, showed up in the game they won over the University of the East Warriors, 77-72, a week ago when he should have not. Instead, the league almighty serve a one-game suspension he was supposed to be serving had he not allegedly “asked” and “granted permission” by the league to attend the games, even if its just in the dugout. They spared UE’s Ralf Olivares too after sitting “within the viscinity” of the Warriors’ bench in that same game. He will serve the second of his two-game suspension.
In short, UE’s “clarification” didn’t come through with the result it desired, which in this case is forfeiture. They’re now officially out of the Final Four race, thanks partly to their commissioner who uses video replays like a CCTV trying to catch shoplifters. Only University of Santo Tomas benefited from it as Perasol will sit out what will turn out a do-or-die game on Wednesday.
Here’s what UAAP secretary-treasurer Malou Isip of Season 76 host Adamson told Reuben Terrado of spin.ph and the rest of the media men a few hours ago: “Coach Bo was in the game venue when he was supposed to be serving his suspension, that is why the board decided that he should be serving the penalty (again).”

As background, UE sought for a probe, or clarification as the Recto-based school wants to call it, of Perasol’s appearance in the game despite being suspended for the commotion he was involved in against a La Salle heckler before the UST game. Not wanting to be left out, the Jesuit-ran school responded by asking why Olivares is in the venue too when he was supposed to be sitting in his bloody couch back home and watching it on television, eat his popcorn and just serve his freaking suspension.

Sportsmaryosep’s prognosis: I’m no fan of non-basketball people meddling with basketball players, probably traumatic of the fact that I was a bare witness to San Beda losing a game they won on the court to College of St. Benilde in the other league, the NCAA, a few seasons back when the board intervened and forfeited it. Guess what’s the reason? Sam Ekwe wore a wrong uniform. If we will follow the rules, i mean R-U-L-E-S, then the league should have forfeited that Ateneo-UE game and ordered a replay. I don’t know, perhaps the league is scared of Ateneo getting angry, perhaps not. Or the possibility of the Eagles bolting out of the league is just too indigestible. After all, it’s hard to imagine a UAAP without Ateneo. But we have rules in basketball just like laws and the constitution that we must respect. Love me or hate me, but Ateneo was no victim here. The real victim here is the league as a whole because this is a bad, really bad, precedent. The recent decision has just created an impression that rules, just like hearts, can be broken in the UAAP where Greatness has ended.
Follow Sportsmaryosep on Twitter: @JoeySVillar

(Photos courtesy of Filoil Flying V)


Plantation Bay
September 12, 2013
The most recent fight involving Marc Pingris and Kelly Nabong and some other players from the Philippine Basketball Association’s San Mig Coffee and Globalport sent me flashbacks of the past. Particularly those of the NBA, which has its share of brawls, or in this particular case, “basketbrawl.” Of course, fighting in basketball is frowned upon and will never be condoned. It’s a deplorable act that merits huge fines, long suspensions and even bans. So kids, try not to do this and just enjoy the game.
For some though, fighting is a spectacle because it doesn’t only happen rarely, it also shows the worst part of a person. Even the best of them have their shares of fights. Name it, Michael Jordan, the greatest player of all time, can claim some. Reggie Miller have many. Kobe Bryant too. Even LeBron James, the fifth or sixth greatest player of all time, had some flare ups. The great Larry Bird too. 
So here we are, reminded of the Pingris-Nabong melee, coming up with six of what I personally think as the worst fights in the NBA starting with…
6. PJ Brown vs Charlie Ward
Before LeBron came and turned the once-heated New York-Miami rivalry into a ghastly friendly affair no thanks to his friendship with Carmelo Anthony, the Knights and the Heat have so much animosity against each other. And it escalated in Game 5 of the 1997 Eastern Conference semifinals when P.J. Brown flipped Ward over into a phalanx of courtside photographers that triggered a brawl. Patrick Ewing, Allan Houston, Larry Johnson and John Starks joined the commotion that resulted to the NBA handing out one-game suspensions spread out over the series’ last two games. The Heat eventually won Games 6 and 7 to complete a dramatic comeback from 1-3 deficit and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals where they were annihilated by His Airness and the Chicago Bulls in five.
5. Larry Johnson vs Alonzo Mourning
The angst-filled New York-Miami rivalry boiled over the next year, particularly in Game Four of the 1998 Eastern Conference first round meeting highlighted by a fight between Mourning and LJ. The two was seen throwing punches but not connecting any (except for that pinch in the face to Charles Oakley, who was trying to stop the action). What’s we remember most from that brawl was former New York coach coach Jeff Van Gundy, now a television analyst, clutching on Mourning’s leg in an unsuccessful attempt to break up the fight. Both players were suspended after it, leading to a Knicks win. Sweet revenge.
4. Bill Laimbeer vs Larry Bird
This list isn’t complete without Bill Laimbeer or the Detroit Pistons in it. Of all his fights, this one against Bird during Game 4 of the 1987 Eastern Conference Finals between the Boston Celtics and Detroit Pistons at the Pontiac Silverdome should be up there. Laimbeer fouled, perhaps maimed,  Bird hard leading the latter to unleash two punches at the former’s head. It led to fans throwing ice and beer cups onto the court. They never stopped even as Bird walked back to their locker room. It’s a sad thing there’s no You Tube video of this that still exists. Now I just couldn’t help but wonder how LeBron and the Heat would last against Laimbeer and the Bad Boys. 
3. Carmelo Anthony vs. Mardy Collins
This is probably the darkest moment in Melo’s career. As the league’s leading scorer for the Denver Nuggets in 2006, he threw a sucker punch on Knicks’ Mardy Collins, who clothesline tackled J.R. Smith seconds before, sparking the brawl. A total of 47-game suspension were handed out on 10 players including 15 on Melo. 
2. Kermit Washington vs Rudy Tomjanovich
Or what is infamously known in the NBA as “The Punch.” With a brawl already going on at centercourt of a 1977 game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Houston Rockets, LA’s Kermit Washington punched Tomjanovich, who was trying to play peacemaker and trying to pacify everyone being his team’s skipper, on the face, leaving the latter bleeding profusely and unconscious. So ugly was the incident that Tomjanovich needed multiple operations to repair facial fractures. Both were never the same players again when they returned to the court. Tomjanovich, however, won two championships as a coach of the Rockets in the 90s and became famous for uttering this immortal words: “We had non-believers all along the way, and I have one thing to say to those non-believers: Don’t ever underestimate the heart of a champion!” 
1. Malice at the Palace
This has got to be the most infamous brawl in the history of the NBA. On November 19 in 2004 near the end of a game between the Indiana Pacers and the Detroit Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills, a fight broke between Ron Artest and Ben Wallace after the former hammered the latter in a driving play. Then all hell broke loose as other players joined in while Artest wound up lying on the scorer’s table while putting a pair of headphones at one point. Then fan or fans threw something at Artest, who charged and fought with fans along with teammate Stephen Jackson. The remaining 45 seconds were called off and the Pacers, who led by 15 points at the time, were awarded the win. Indiana players, coaches and team staff members were pelted with beverages and garbage as they ran into the locker rooms. A total of nine players received a whopping 146 games of suspensions while two fans involved in the fracas were banned from attending games in the venue for the rest of their miserable lives. Five Indiana players and five fans were charged with assault and battery. Around $11 million cost players due to fines. Perhaps because of this, Artest ended up changing his name to Metta World Peace.
Follow Sportsmaryosep on Twitter: JoeySVillar