De La Salle basketball stars stabbing shocks sports scene

June 4, 2018 - 2:17 PM
Jeron Teng at the 2017 PBA Draft (PBA Media Bureau)

The stabbing of basketball players Jeron Teng and Norbert and Thomas Torres has shocked fans across the country.

While news of athletes’ involvement in off-court altercations is nothing new, the circumstances of the fight that sent the former De La Salle Green Archers to the hospital has been a cause for shock and rage for sports fans.

Bloody brawl

At around 2:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 3, the three former De La Salle University cagers sustained injuries after figuring in a brawl outside a popular club in Bonifacio Global City.

They were were rushed to nearby St. Luke’s medical center, where Jeron and Thomas were confined. Norbert was released after receiving stitches for the wounds on his arm.

Teng, a rookie with the Alaska Aces in the Philippine Basketball Association received three stab wounds to the back.

Norbert plays for the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, while the other Torres, not related, is set to play in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League.

The suspects, Edmar Manalo,  Willard Basili, and Joseph Varona are to set to be charged with frustrated homicide and less serious physical injuries. According to the suspects, the knife used during the fight was brought out only for self-defense.

According to some, the suspects jeered at the player’s while walking around the area.

According to the police, new information suggests there was already a prior spat between the two groups.

Videos of the altercation have reached various media outlets. The videos show the towering Teng livid while being barely restrained by security.

De La Salle sports blogger Tony Atayde was among the first to come to the basketball players’ defense. In a tweet, he questioned why the suspects would resort to use of a knife if they had only retaliated out of self-defense.

Some have noticed how misfortune recently seems to have befallen a number of PBA stars.

Teng, who was drafted fifth in the 2017 PBA Draft, is a candidate for the Rookie of the Year Award.

In his collegiate days, he was a two-time Finals Most Valuable Player, having led De La Salle to championships in 2013 and 2016.

Norbert on the one hand was selected as a PBA All-Star in 2017.

Thomas, an incoming player in the MPBL, is expected to set aside six weeks for recovery.

The stabbing came just a week after another blue chip rookie, Kiefer Ravena, was suspended from playing in the PBA for 18 months for testing positive for banned substances.

Ballers and violence

PBA players getting involved in physical encounters is not new. In August 2007, former Alaska player Paul “Bong Alvarez” was arrested for assaulting a taxi driver and broadcaster Gretchen Malalad.

He was later arrested on drug-related charges in June 2017.

Another De La Sallian legend-turned PBA star, Mac Cardona, was recently arrested on physical injury charges from his ex-partner after a confrontation that turned violent in May 2018.

One player to be on the receiving end of assault was 2005 PBA Most Valuable Player Eric Menk, who suffered calf and toe injuries after figuring in a fight in 2007.

The National Basketball Association in 2014 addressing the numerous incidents of violence American athletes from different sports were involved in called for a review of its policies on violence.

In November the same year, Charlotte Hornets player Jeffrey Taylor was suspended for 24 games for domestic violence charges involving his partner.