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Arellano withdraws protest in the spirit of sportsmanship

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Arellano University is no longer pushing through with its plan of protesting its 112-114 double overtime loss to Jose Rizal in a 91st NCAA basketball tournament elimination round game last Thursday.

In an exclusive interview with Arellano head coach Jerry Condinera, he told Tiebreaker Times that the school is filing a protest due to the lapse in officiating that eventually cost them the game. “We filed a protest sa NCAA. Nagfile kami kasi stepping siya [sa line] kaya napilitan kami magfoul. Siyempre, referee’s fault din. Noong review clarong-claro,” Codinera said. “Pero on the part of the referee, sabi ko nga, what’s the distinction of class A referee and class B referee kung ang stepping hindi mo makita? Mali pala sila ng tinitingnan kasi hindi sila tumingin sa guhit.”

Peter Cayco, Arellano’s representative to the Management Committe, said the decision came from no less than school president Francisco Cayco. “I was ordered by my president not to put the game under protest in the spirit of sportsmanship and in the interest of the NCAA,” said Cayco. “Jose Rizal had nothing to do with the errors of game officials.”

The decision meant that the Bombers’ will preserve their sixth victory against four defeats, the same record by the Chiefs to share the No. 4 spot.

Letran and San Beda still lead the league with identical 9-2 (win-loss) slates while Perpetual Help is at No. 3 with a 7-3 mark.

Arellano was arguing that the referees downgraded a late triple by Jose Rizal’s Tey Teodoro a little too late, forcing Jio Jalalon to foul Gio Lasquety with a little over a second remaining knowing the Chiefs were trailing by a point. Lasquety eventually hit his two charities that sealed the deal.

Mancom chair Melchor Divina of Mapua lauded Arellano’s recent decision. “We commend Arellano for its decision. This is for the good of the league,” said Divina.

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