UAAP commissioner Andy Jao said he was not happy with the number of fouls called during the game between Ateneo and University of the East on Sunday, but said he felt the fouls "were excessive for both sides."
Jao said he immediately called the referees' attention to the 64 fouls called in the game, which led to a combined 75 free throw attempts for the Blue Eagles and the Red Warriors, in an overtime game that dragged on for almost three hours.
“I saw that and actually I thought both of them had too many free throws. They (Red Warriors) had 30, the other (Blue Eagles) had 45. That is why the game was so long,” Jao told Spin.ph on Monday.
The Blue Eagles were able to mount a comeback from 21 points down to come away with a 93-91 overtime win over the Red Warriors in a thrilling but dragging game that pushed back the end of the other double-header between La Salle and University of Santo Tomas past 7 p.m.
On Sunday, UE coach Derrick Pumaren lamented after the game the 45 free throws awarded to Ateneo — including 25 given to Blue Eagles star Kiefer Ravena which were just five less than the free throws of the entire Red Warriors combined.
But for Jao, the total free throws were too much, not just for Ateneo but for UE as well.
“For me, it’s excessive for both sides,” said Jao.
Jao, however, said the number of fouls wasn’t due to the way the game was called by the officials alone, but also due to the way UE and Ateneo played.
“UE has a tendency to commit fouls because they press almost all the way. They have a tendency to get into penalty quickly." On the other hand, Jao said "Ateneo had to defend (Charles) Mammie.”
Jao said he understands Pumaren's frustration after the game.
“I have a lot of respect for coach Derrick," said the longtime television analyst and basketball official. "He isn’t the kind of person that will make an excuse about officiating.”