COACH Bonnie Tan on Monday made known that Lyceum will not tolerate racism as he denied allegations that one of his players taunted San Beda Nigerian center Ola Adeogun with a slur during their Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup game over the weekend.
Tan insisted no Pirates player hurled a racial insult against the towering Adeogun during a highly-physical encounter between him and Paul Pamulaklakin during the fourth quarter.
The coach stressed the Pirates will be the last team to do such a discriminating act towards an opponent since Lyceum also has a foreign player in the person of Cameroonian Guy Mbida.
“That’s impossible,” said Tan when asked for his side by Spin.ph regarding the issue on Monday.
“Una sa lahat, may foreign player din kami. Well-accepted na ‘yung foreign players dito sa collegiate league. Kung racist tayo, dapat hindi na tayo in the first place kumuha ng foreign player.”
“Puwede mong tanungin ‘yung mga foreign players namin kung naging racist ba kami. Eh di sana umalis na sila sa amin,” said Tan, who is of Chinese descent.
San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez claimed after the game which San Beda won, 80-56, that a Lyceum player issued a racial slur towards Adeogun, though he didn’t mention who made the insult and what was told to his prized player.
But the Nigerian center was so exasperated after the incident that witnesses heard him blurting out, “Ayoko ng maglaro sa Pilipinas,” while on his way to the dugout.
Adeogun had been a victim of racial discrimination before after a staff of Cagayan Valley in the PBA D-League was suspended for 10 games for his controversial banana taunt on the Nigerian player.
In light of Fernandez’s claim, Tan said he also believes that racism has no place in basketball. He will also be the first person to discourage any racial acts by his players, Tan added.
“Hindi namin i-totolerate ‘yan dahil hindi naman maganda sa isang tao na dina-down because of his nationality. Ako nga Chinese, eh di ako ‘yung nagalit sa kanila,” said Tan.
Instead, the Lyceum coach chided the quality of officiating which he said was inconsistent during the game, even citing that one of his players, Rhoel Maconocido, was charged with a technical foul without being issued any warning.
“Actually, ang puwede pa ngang masabing nagdi-discriminate is ‘yung referees. Isang beses lang umangal si Maco (Maconocido) na pinapatino natin, na-technical agad,” said Tan.