MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATED) San Miguel forward Arwind Santos has been fined P200,000 and ordered to render community service, following his racist gesture against TNT import Terrence Jones in Game 5 of the 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup finals on Wednesday night.
Santos was seen dancing like a monkey during the second quarter of Game 5 on Wednesday, apparently taunting Jones who was called for a foul. After San Miguel went on to win the game, 99-94, Santos said he was simply playing "mind games" with the import.
"Sorry ako? Hindi. Depende ’yun sa kanya. Kung mapipikon siya, totoong monkey siya. Kung di ka mapipikon, di ka monkey. Kami nanga-asar lang. Kami nga magka-kapatid naga-asaran din kami. Di ko naman siya kaano-ano," Santos said.
"Gusto lang namin manalo. Kung mapikon siya, hindi ko na kasalanan ’yun," he added.
Jones, the Best Import of the Conference, broke his silence on Thursday and said that Santos' actions were "unacceptable."
"Swift, significant action needs to be taken by the PBA to send a strong message that racism in any form will not be tolerated," said Jones on Twitter.
The veteran forward was summoned by PBA commissioner Willie Marcial on Thursday.
Marcial said that aside from paying a fine and doing community service, Santos will also have to undergo a seminar and counseling on equality and racial discrimination.
"Walang lugar ang racial discrimination sa basketball at sports in general at sa PBA in particular. Hindi pinahihintulutan ng liga 'yung mga ganung aksyon, at kung maulit pa, mas mabigat na sanction ang ipapataw natin," said Marcial in a statement.
"Bilang Commissioner, humihingi ako ng pasensya at pang-unawa kay Mr. Terrence Jones at sa kanyang pamilya. Ang PBA ay tahanan para sa lahat, bukas para sa lahat at walang kinikilalang kulay, lahi o paniniwala," he added.
Marcial said Santos was apologetic during their meeting, and the San Miguel forward also posted a video of himself saying sorry to Jones, to fans of both San Miguel and TNT, and to all PBA fans for the incident.
On Twitter, Santos said: "I don't mean anything bad for you, I hope you forgive me."
"Wala po akong masamang intensyon. Inaamin ko po, mali po ako. Sorry po, sana mapatawad niyo po ako. Tao lang po ako, nagkakamali din po ako," he added.
San Miguel took a 3-2 lead in the best-of-7 finals series with Wednesday's win, and can secure the crown on Friday.
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