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Mapua head coach Atoy Co suspended for two games

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The hottest team in the 91st season of the NCAA right now suffered a big blow Monday afternoon.

The Mapua Institute of Technology Cardinals (5th, 8-5), who are currently riding a four-game winning streak, are currently in the tight race for the Final Four. This week, the hosts are set to face the the Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights (11-2) and the Arellano University Chiefs (3rd, 10-4) on Tuesday and Friday respectively. However, their mentor will not be present in those two games as head coach Atoy Co was hammered with a two game suspension by Commissioner “Bai” Cristobal.

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Mapua head coach Atoy Co suspended for two games    During Mapua’s tilt against the Lyceum of the Philippines University Pirates last Friday, the emotional coach was ejected with eight minutes to go in the game. Co was called for a technical foul after questioning the fifth foul called on Nigerian student-athlete Allwell Oraeme. The PBA Legend watched the rest of the game at the Filoil Flying V Arena’s press room as he watched his Cardinals take home their fourth win, 70-66.

“I do not know why the referee threw me out,” Co said during the post-game scrum. “That was only my first technical foul. Sabi ni Bai, it was because from the first game [against LPU] when I took of my shirt.” He added that it was ridiculous that he cannot question the referee for a “bad call.” “Sa akin, we really need our [foreign student-athlete]. Kasi kami we’re here, it’s because of Allwell. Every game he has a double-double. I’m sorry that I was very emotional but kelangan na kelangan namin si Allwell.”

Even with the apology, the commissioner’s office decided to suspend Co. In his place, deputy head coach Ed Cordero will take his place for the two crucial tilts for the Cardinals.

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Mapua head coach Atoy Co suspended for two games    This will be Co’s second suspension for the season with the first coming after their match against the Pirates during the First Round. In their first round matchup, Mapua nearly blew a 40-point lead but managed to stave off the late meltdown. The refereeing in the game, however, caused Coach Atoy’s now famous shirt-twriling meltdown which also gave him a one game suspension.

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