ATENEO coach Bo Perasol finally addressed accusations of flopping against his players, saying the Blue Eagles' current success in the UAAP men's basketball tournament had nothing to do with the high number of fouls and free throws they get during games.
Perasol spoke out after the Blue Eagles' 86-88 loss to arch-rival La Salle, or just hours after the Green Archers coach, Juno Sauler, pointed out it was "quite funny" that a perimeter-shooting team like Ateneo got the most number of fouls and free throws in the league in the first round of the elims.
Sauler also pointed to Ateneo players' ability to "sell fouls" during games while University of the East coach Derrick Pumaren ruled the wide disparity in the free throws awarded to the Red Warriors and the Blue Eagles in an earlier game.
Perasol, however, said he sees nothing wrong with it.
“It’s one thing to sell it. Pero kung ibebenta mo ‘yung tunay na foul, I don’t think there is anything wrong with that,” said Perasol, in his second second as coach of the Blue Eagles.
Perasol said it is obvious that questions over the free throw attempts and fouls given to Ateneo are really aimed at Kiefer Ravena, who has been accused by critics and bashers as a ‘flopper.’
But the Ateneo coach was quick to defend his star player, saying the reason the leading MVP contender gets to the line a lot of times is because of his attacking style of play.
Perasol added he found proof that those fouls were legitimate based on their review of Ateneo’s games.
“Kung titignan mo, maraming attacks si Kiefer. And the way he does it and combining it with explosion, the moment na sinara mo ‘yun (driving lane), siguradong magkakaroon talaga ng fouls.
“Sa akin, those fouls na nakita ko, when we reviewed it, talagang foul,” said Perasol.
The former PBA coach also said the reason why Ateneo has been winning this early is because of its stellar play, and not due to free throw attempts and fouls committed against the Eagles.
“I have to give credit to my team. I don’t think we won just because of foul shooting. We won because we deserved to win. We delivered in the endgame against four teams,” said Perasol.
Perasol said he is not about to make the same accusations against La Salle, even if the Green Archers were awarded more free throws in Sunday's game.
“That’s going to say a lot about officiating na parang may pinapaboran. Sa akin, katulad kanina, mas marami silang (La Salle) free throws, hindi ko naman puwedeng sabihin na La Salle can sell their calls. Hindi ako naniniwala doon,” said Perasol.