When Kib Montalbo was asked about the La Salle-FEU scuffle in Davao three years ago — infamously called the Fracas in Almendras — he could not help but feel a little embarrassed.
“Ako ‘yung isa sa mga main stars nun,” he quipped during last Friday’s episode of the CPT Crossover.
Back in August 25, 2017, the Green Archers and the Tamaraws participated in a pocket tournament during the Kidayawan Festival.
During the semis game, and with FEU up 73-59 with 20 seconds left in the third quarter, Montalbo was allegedly hit by Kenneth Tuffin. Montalbo did not take too kindly to the action, and retaliated by shoving the Fil-Kiwi.
Things escalated afterward.
“Sa amin nagsimula ‘yun. Nagkabangaan kami ni Tuffin pero ‘yung bangga, normal lang ‘yun eh. Kasi pisikal din sila at first, pero laban lang kami. Tapos nung nagkabanggaan na, dun nagsimula ‘yung gulo,” recalled Montalbo, who is now part of PBA club TNT Katropa.
“Pero kung hindi nangyari ‘yun, walang gulo.”
1st Commotion !!!!??? pic.twitter.com/V3Stroc7WE
— Animo Davao (@animodavao) August 25, 2017
Andrei Caracut felt surprised that it was Montalbo and Tuffin who instigated everything that led into the wild bench-clearing brawl.
“Alam mo sino nag-start ng away? ‘Yung dalawang mabait sa La Salle at FEU. ‘Yung nagkwekwento ‘yung FEU, sinasabi nila na isa sa pinaka-mabait si Tuffin. Sa La Salle naman, isa sa pinaka-mabait si Kib.”
That shoving match between Montalbo and Tuffin led to all hell breaking loose.
Axel Iñigo, who was trying to pacify the situation, was accidentally taken down by Brent Paraiso, which further agitated both squads.
Ron Dennison, who was ejected from the game beforehand due to being slapped with his second unsportsmanlike foul, was seen back on the court throwing punches as well.
Barkley Ebona was seen in another video jawing with Ricci Rivero after the latter threw the ball at him.
Another video showed Ayo grabbing Arvin Tolentino to avoid him from joining the melee. It resulted in a gash on Tolentino’s neck.
— Justine Bacnis (@justinebacnis) August 27, 2017
The game was eventually called off. No penalties were slapped on the two erring squads, as the game was not sanctioned by the UAAP.
Up until today, good friends Montalbo and Caracut could not believe what transpired during that game.
“Nakatulala lang ako nun. Kasi parang lahat nasa court na, tapos ‘yung teammates ko dati nasa kabila, sila Axel at Arvin,” expressed Caracut, who is playing for ABL team San Miguel Alab Pilipinas.
“Basketball is a small world na kahit kakampi mo dati, makakalaban mo,” added Montalbo.
“First time ko ‘yun. At least, naka-try na ko,” the native of Bacolod said with a smile.