THE University of the East Alumni Association Inc. (UEAAI) decried the “unfair treatment” of their men’s basketball team by the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP).
The UEAAI made the announcement following the decision of UAAP Commissioner Chito Loyzaga to suspend Red Warriors players Charles Mammie, Lord Casajeros and Raffy Olivarez for two games each for committing two unsportsmanlike fouls in previous games against Far Eastern University and National University.
A part of the letter of the UEAAI to the Commissioner and the Board of Trustees of the UAAP reads, “The repercussions of incidents such as the harsh suspensions on Mr. Mammie and Mr. Olivares are far-reaching. Beyond bare statistics, such weighty decisions impact upon the direct participants of the games, who have worked tirelessly to become the professional athletes that they are today. Such weighty decisions likewise impact upon the countless audiences far and wide, of various ages and backgrounds, who view the games for the basic entertainment and excitement they provide and, subconsciously or not, for the vivid microcosm of life that basketball and sports truly are.”
Red Warriors head coach Boyzie Zamar also defended his players, saying his players have no malicious intention.
“My players have no intention to hurt. They are just playing their best,” said Zamar, noting that Olivarez didn’t see NU player Nico Javelona lying on the floor during a rebound play on Saturday. “Raffy didn’t see him because he’s going for a rebound and he unintentionally stepped on him.”
Loyzaga, for his part, insisted the suspended players deserved the sanctions since they violated the spirit of fair play. Loyzaga, who did not elaborate, said every decision is based on the UAAP by-laws.
UAAP Board secretary and treasurer Malou Isip of host Adamson University also defended Loyzaga’s decision, “We believe in him and there’s no bias,” Isip said.