After conducting a thorough review, NCAA commissioner Tonichi Pujante has downgraded the foul committed by JL Delos Santos late in Jose Rizal University’s game against College of Saint Benilde last Friday.
Delos Santos was initially assessed an unsportsmanlike foul with 2:22 remaining in the Heavy Bombers’ 85-93 overtime loss to the Blazers.
The crafty guard – Converge’s pick at 19th overall in the 2023 PBA Draft – was seen swinging an elbow toward Mark Sangco’s face. Despite the apparent intent, the elbow did not make contact with Sangco.
This marked Delos Santos’ second unsportsmanlike foul of the game, resulting in his ejection. However, Commissioner Pujante later downgraded the foul, leading to his non-suspension for their game against Mapua University on Sunday.
“As Commissioner, it is my duty to provide a proper perspective. After a comprehensive post-game review of the JRU vs. CSB matchup on September 29, 2023, it has been determined that JRU player JL Delos Santos’ elbow did not connect with CSB player Mark Sangco. Therefore, it did not warrant an unsportsmanlike foul,” read the league’s statement.
“Consequently, he should not have been ejected, and as a result, there is no one-game suspension.”
However, the three game officials who officiated the game have been suspended.
“Regarding the three referees, they are suspended from September 30 to October 14, 2023, due to their failure to exercise sound judgment, inefficient use of the Instant Replay System (IRS) review, and their failure to assert themselves as game officials,” it continued.