San Miguel Beermen import Kevin Murphy cleared his name of any wrongdoing and said that he did not choke Phoenix Fuel Masters star forward Calvin Abueva when they got entangled, Friday night at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Murphy appeared to have gotten an arm around Abueva’s head at the 4:11-mark of the final frame, with SMB up comfortably, 105-88. The two even barged into the guardrail along the baseline, and had to be separated by their teammates.
That incident sparked another fracas, as Phoenix head coach and long-time San Miguel assistant coach Biboy Ravanes were seen exchanging words in front of the officials’ table. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed.
Murphy was assessed with a flagrant foul penalty one.
“It was really just trying to hold him up. It just so happened that my arm was around his neck. But I didn’t choke him, I was just holding him. He just kept pushing me back,” explained Murphy after San Miguel’s 117-100 victory.
“I’m not a dirty player.”
The former NBA cager actually has no qualms with playing physical, but what Murphy could not – and would probably not – take is being the recipient of cheap shots and other extra-curricular activities that will not be noticed.
“I expected it to be physical but my thing is if you play physical, that’s cool, but don’t do cheap shots,” said Murphy, who has been roaming the globe to play pro ball for six years. “I’m okay with playing physical, playing hard to compete.
“But my thing is, if you hit me with cheap shots the whole game and the ref just letting it go and stuff like that. I mean, I can play through that but it don’t mean that I like it so that’s how it was,” furthered the soft-spoken Murphy.
But this particular Friday night isn’t all about disappointment for the 28-year-old, as he has finally tasted his first win in the PBA. Moreover, the Beermen have ended their three-game losing skid in the 2018 Governors’ Cup.
“In that game, I feel like we played great defense. Everybody was locked in. We had a great week of practice and it just carried over to the game,” he said.