The ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) put the hammer down on the two head coaches involved in the post game skirmish between the Westports Malaysia Dragons and Saigon Heat last January 17, 2018.
As the players exchanged congratulatory remarks after the Dragons’ 91-87 win over the Heat, the head coaches and team officials were caught in an intense altercation.
In a memo issued on Tuesday, the league issued fines and suspensions to the parties involved after careful evaluation and deliberation.
Dragons head coach Christopher Thomas has been suspended for two games and fined 1,000 US Dollars for making verbal derogatory comments and for taunting an opposing player.
Thomas, who has led the Dragons to a 3-5 start, will have to sit out their next two games – against the Chong Son Kung Fu Basketball Club and Singapore Slingers.
The ABL also found that the disruptive conduct of Thomas’ fiancée Lana Makarenkova deserves no place in the tournament. She has therefore been banned from attending of the ABL games for the rest of the season.
Heat head coach Kyle Julius didn’t go unscathed as he was hit with a one-game suspension and also slapped with a 1,000 US Dollar fine. Julius was sanctioned for “negatively criticizing the league with regards to decisions made in reference to coach Christopher Thomas’ actions,” the memo said. Julius will miss the Heat’s January 28 game against Tanduay Alab Pilipinas.
Both Julius and Thomas will not be allowed in the vicinity of the venues due to their suspensions. Failure to comply with the ruling will lead to more penalties.
Aside from the two mentors, Dragons General Manager Yakub Hussaini was also fined for 500 US Dollars. Heat assistant coach David Singleton was equally sanctioned for his unruly behavior.
The Saigon Heat was issued a 1,000 US Dollar fine for failure to quickly comply with the league’s investigation process of the incident.