University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Commissioner Jensen Ilagan called for a clean competition after he upgraded a non-call into an unsportsmanlike foul on University of the East (UE) forward Nick Abanto.
Abanto elbowed Ateneo de Manila University forward William Navarro during a tussle for a rebound three minutes into the game at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City last Sunday.
The 6-foot-5 Navarro was feared to have suffered a concussion and remains under observation.
“We call on all student-athletes to always keep in mind the safety and welfare not just of their teammates but also their opponents,” said Ilagan on Tuesday.
“Though the spirit of sports is competition, the ultimate goal is to build camaraderie among everyone,” he added.
Despite the incident, Ateneo routed UE, 84-50. It was the Warriors 10th consecutive Final Four exit.
“Upon multiple reviews of the incident, we saw that there was intent by Mr. Abanto to hit Mr. Navarro causing him to fall and eventually be carried off the playing court,” said Ilagan.
“The action was unprovoked and his intention to hurt was apparent. Therefore, an unsportsmanlike foul shall be assessed against him,” he added.
With his infraction upgraded to an unsportsmanlike foul, the 6-foot-3 Abanto is facing suspension that would make him Miss UE’s game against Far Eastern University on October 27.