CONTROVERSIAL basketball coach Alvin Pua may need to find another job.
The Standard learned that Pua and his Cagayan Valley basketball team are unwelcome in a soon-to-be launched regional tournament, where the beleaguered squad has a pending application.
Potential members of the Countrywide Developmental Basketball League have reportedly expressed their concerns in having Pua and his team join the league, which will have a home-and-away format.
Pua, the coach of D-League team Cagayan Valley Rising Suns, was recently banned in all Philippine Basketball Association-related activities after punching referee Ben Montero during their May 13 game against Livermarin.
It was the third time Pua physically attacked a game official, prompting PBA D-League officials to ban the one-time pro player for life.
“What if we play in their turf and something similar happens? Baka hindi na makalabas ‘yung kalaban nilang team sa homecourt nila,” said one team official.
League organizer and former coach Joe Lipa recently told The Standard that he still has to hear the side of Pua before they can hand out a decision on their application.
“We have to hear their side before we render judgement. As for their team, they are on equal footing with everybody,” said Lipa. “I will talk with him seriously. Of course, all teams will be scrutinized and we like all the teams to be with us in the long haul.”
Lipa said Cagayan Valley actually submitted their application weeks before the punching incident happened.
He added there are currently 12 teams applying for a slot in their league, but only eight will be accommodated to ensure stability and a quality format in their tournament, which is set to open next month.
Meantime, champion coach Chot Reyes expressed his support to any move that will prohibit Pua from coaching in future basketball tournaments.
“That’s unforgivable. When I actually found out the second time na ginawa niya ‘yun, sinabi ko na sa sarili ko that guy has to be banned for life. There’s no place in coaching for that,” said Reyes.