UAAP suspends three referees as Adamson Falcons file protest after loss to La Salle
Adamson coach Franz Pumaren led the chorus of jeers over the way the Falcons' Final Four game against La Salle was called. Marlo Cueto

ADAMSON has formally filed a protest before the UAAP board after its controversial 82-75 loss to La Salle in the Final Four last Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

In a post by the Adamson University Alumni Sports Executive Group on Facebook late Monday evening hours after the protest was filed, the group shared a letter by Fr. Aldrin R. Suar addressed to league executive director and commissioner Rebo Saguisag regarding their grievances with how the game was officiated.

Suar blasted the referees as “downrightly unfair and biased,” saying the game officiating was “revolting” and that it “calls for an immediate action in order to forestall its duplication in the future.”

The school said that it was asking for a “judicious review of the recording of the match,” in order to “arrive at an objective resolution,” of their grievances.

In his reply, Saguisag said that the Falcons weren’t alone in feeling that way and that he “called for an emergency meeting the very next day to address the seeming public outrage over the said game.”

The youthful commissioner even invited Mark Molina of Far Eastern University and Erika Dy of Ateneo to the meeting to make sure that the referees know what was at stake with the semifinal match.

Saguisag also bared that the referees Enan Alejo, Ian Borbe and Mollie de Luna were immediately suspended, with two being recommended to be banned for the season – though the letter didn’t indicate who.

Borbe and de Luna aren’t new to controversy as they were called out publicly two years ago by then FEU coach Nash Racela in their championship match against UST.

Borbe was also suspended for three games by the NCAA in 2014 for challenging then Letran star Mark Cruz to a fist fight.

The Green Archers had a 39-5 advantage in free throws given after the Falcons got called for 33 fouls compared to the defending champions’ 12.

The third seeded Falcons were actually in control for most of the match, even taking a 15-point lead early in the game only to slip in the face of a furious La Salle fourth quarter.

The Adamson coaching staff, led by Franz Pumaren, didn’t mince words in their interviews, with Pumaren calling it the “worst officiated game,” that he’s seen in his coaching career.

La Salle coach Aldin Ayo, on the other hand, played down the complaints, saying that the referees called the match consistently for both squads.

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Saguisag said they are still in the process of evaluating the whole game. 

Follow the writer on Twitter: @CAJacinto11