The University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) won’t sanction the players who were involved in the bench-clearing incident at the Kadayawan Basketball Invitational in Davao City.
Involved teams promised the league that the ugly incident wouldn’t spill over when the UAAP opens its 80th season on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Anton Montinola of season host Far Eastern University (FEU), curiously one of the teams involved in the melee along with De La Salle University, said the best way to do now is to move on from the incident.
“It’s just a pocket tournament and we don’t want to dwell on it because it will be counterproductive,” said Montinola during the launch of the UAAP Season 80 on Monday at the MOA Arena.
The Green Archers and the Tamaraws, who interestingly will face off in the second day of the tournament, rekindled the ugly side of their rivalry with a free-for-all incident during the third period of their match.
The game was declared forfeited and both camps traded barbs in the social media.
But it seemed that both coaches have already moved on from that highly physical encounter.
“It was very unfortunate it happened. We promised not to talk about it anymore because we are very focused on our preparation for the UAAP,” said La Salle head coach Aldin Ayo.
“I told the players not to post something about it in the social media because no one will win if you argue in the social media. Hopefully, we learn from it and we can patch things up,” he added.
Ayo was reportedly involved in that fracas as one member of the FEU coaching staff accused him of choking Tamaraw forward Arvin Tolentino.
The La Salle mentor vehemently denied the accusation.
“I did not do that. All of the coaches went to the court to pacify the players,” said Ayo.
Like Ayo, FEU rookie coach Olsen Racela is also hoping that both schools have already forgotten the incident.
“I always preach to my players that don’t dwell on the past, move on and be mindful of the present. I know everyone is excited for the coming season,” said Racela, who took over from his older brother Nash.
La Salle and FEU will clash on Sunday also at the MOA Arena and the league’s newly appointed executive director and still tournament commissioner lawyer Rebo Saguisag said there’s no need to tighten up the security and the officiating in that contest.
“They are champion teams. I expect them to behave champions and they will behave like champions,” said Saguisag.
“We will treat each game the same. No one game should be easy or difficult to officiate. We always demand 110 percent performance from out officials,” he added.