University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) basketball commissioner and lawyer Rebo Saguisag suspended the three referees who officiated in the controversial match between De La Salle University and Adamson University last Saturday. The three officials are now under investigation by the league.
Responding to the complaint letter of Fr. Aldrin Suan, CM of Adamson on Monday, Saguisag said the league agreed to the Soaring Falcons that referees Mollie De Luna, Enan Alejo and Ian Borbe erred in the Final Four match encounter won by the Green Archers, 82-75, that put them in the finals of Season 80 UAAP.
In fact, Saguisag called an emergency meeting with the technical officials the following day and invited Mark Molina of season host Far Eastern University and Ericak Dy of Ateneo to get their inputs on the issue.
“While we are still in the process of evaluating the whole game together with the statistics, the officials who worked your (Adamson-La Salle) game were immediately suspended with two strongly recommended for being banned for the rest of the season, if only to preserve public confidence in our league,” said Saguisag in his reply to Fr. Suan.
The league commissioner did not mention the name of the two officials to be banned for the rest of the season.
In his letter, Fr. Suan said the three referees were “downrightly unfair and biased” as the Soaring Falcons were whistled 33 fouls leading to 39 La Salle free throws while the Green Archers had only 12 fouls the whole game resulting in just five bonus shots for the Soaring Falcons.
The top Adamson official is hoping that the technical committee will act immediately on the matter to avoid duplication of the incident.
Saguisag, in a separate interview, said a rematch or replay of the game is already out of the question, as the outcome was reached not due to technicality.
Adamson is also not seeking a rematch of the game.
“We trust the wisdom of the commissioner for whatever decision he will make. He is always after for the good and development of the UAAP,” Fr. Suan said in a text message to The Manila Times on Tuesday.
After their match, La Salle head coach Aldin Ayo told reporters that the referees were consistent in the game as his players were hounded by the physical defense of Adamson in the first half and they simply returned the favor to the Soaring Falcons in the second half.
Adamson head coach Franz Pumaren branded the game as the “worst officiated” game he saw in his coaching career.