SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- Minor league basketball star Ralph McPherson was recovering Tuesday from emergency surgery for injuries allegedly suffered when an opponent clubbed him with a baseball bat after a game.
The local Naco team, for which McPherson plays, pulled out of the local championship series in protest over the incident. McPherson, forward and leading rebounder for the Continental Basketball Association's Albany, N.Y., Patroons, was playing in the Dominican summer league.
McPherson, 26, of Arlington, Texas, was allegedly hit with a bat by Ivan Mieses, 27, in the Sports Palace parking lot after Sunday night's game. Mieses' Arroyo Hondo team defeated Naco 102-92.
McPherson was taken to a local hospital where doctors removed his spleen Monday. He was recovering from the operation Tuesday, authorities said.
Witnesses said Mieses and McPherson had an argument after the game, the first in the best-of-7 series.
In a telephone interview, Mieses said he only defended himself 'from an assault and a series of insults' allegedly provoked by the 6-foot-9 McPherson.
Ralph Andrew, a spokesman for the Patroons in Albany, said the team had not been informed of the details of the incident or McPherson's condition.
McPherson scored an average 16.9 points and pulled down 8.1 rebounds a game for the Patroons during the past season. For the second straight year, he led the team in rebounds -- breaking a team record with 19 in a Dec. 29 game against Toronto -- and played in the CBA's All-Star game, Andrew said.
Published reports said Tuesday that McPherson had signed a $50,000 contract with an unidentified Spanish team and was supposed to report to that club in early August.
The Santo Domingo Basketball Association called off Tuesday's second game of the championship series while the Dominican Basketball Federation said it will listen to both parties involved in the incident before making a statement.