The highly-debated De La Salle University Green Archers-Adamson University Soaring Falcons Final Four contest last Saturday has sparked questions and accountability from the fans. And it did not fall on deaf ears, according to UAAP executive director Rebo Saguisag.
In a phone interview with CNN Sports Desk, Saguisag shared that they are currently in this midst of an investigation of the contest that saw La Salle carve out an 82-75 win to eliminate Adamson.
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“For the first time in three years, it was the first na aside from the losing team, which you expect the complaint from, there are some sectors who uh, parang nangamusta kung ano nangyare,” Saguisag said. “So, of course, I cannot be insensitive to the public cause at the end of the day, they are the audience eh.
“We have to address kung ano man ang saloobin.”
Monday, Saguisag and the league’s board of trustees decided to suspend referees Borbe, Alejo, and De Luna for the time being. This was done as a preventive measure by the league to shield the officials from public scrutiny and for them to get to protect their names.
“Para ‘di magkagulo, it was our decision, I used the word suspension pero to be clear ang suspension kasi can be a form of penalty or a preventive measure,” explained the league’s first-ever executive director. “In this case, kasi hindi pa tayo tapos eh. Our findings are still provisional, pero pending investigation para wala muna tayong gulo, ilalabas ko muna yung tatlo para hindi naman sila masyadong mabaon, and they get to have a chance to clear their name if warranted.”
But Saguisag made it clear that the game will not be replayed, nor will the results be reversed. The last time the league held a replay of a contest was back in September 23, 2012. The precedent that led to the rematch was that RR Garcia’s winning basket for the FEU Tamaraws should not have counted against the NU Bulldogs.
“At the moment, again without prejudice to further findings, I don’t think naman off-hand that the mistakes if at all were that blatant to warrant a reversal or a replay. If it involves judgment calls, hindi siya criteria for protest e,” said Saguisag.
“They should be technical in nature, like mis-appreciation of the rules, misapplication of the mechanics or ganiyan, pero kung judgment calls, ibang usapan kasi. That would not warrant a reversal or a replay.”
If Saguisag was to be asked, it was simply that the styles of play of La Salle and Adamson resulted in the huge disparity in free throws for both squads.
“Initially kasi, it doesn’t do justice naman when they say… What bothers me when they talk about thirty-nine free throws versus five free throws. Ako I had my personal review already, I don’t have the exact numbers yet but the brand of play is really different,” Saguisag opined. “Nobody attacks the basket like Ben Mbala, sa kabila naman, we have Jerrick Ahanmisi and Rob Manalang who lives in the perimeter and the three point area.
“Ang akin lang, in fairness to the referees, kaya winelcome ko rin yung letter ng Adamson cause they were asking for a more judicious review and that’s what I have been doing. In fact, I am currently in the meeting with the referees again today. Bibigyan namin sila ng magandang sagot, we will address everything in the proper forum and in fairness to all concerned,” he added.
Still, it is vital, not just for the parties involved, but for the entire league to have a dialogue about what had transpired during the contest.
“Like I said ang importante dito, we’re taking steps into investigating the matter again in fairness to Adamson, to the referees, to La Salle, and to the viewing public in general.”