FAR Eastern University filed a protest before the UAAP Commissioner’s Office on Monday, claiming a ‘technicality’ affected the outcome of the Tamaraws’ game on Saturday against Ateneo.
In a letter addressed to Commissioner Andy Jao, FEU coach Nash Racela said he is contesting a basket made by Ateneo gunner Von Pessumal with 3:20 left in the fourth which, after a review, was ruled a three-pointer and not a two-point basket by the refs with only 27 seconds left in the fourth period.
The review allowed Ateneo to cut the deficit from two to one point, 58-57, with Mike Tolomia about to take two free throws. The FEU starting guard only made one, leading to Kiefer Ravena scoring a two-pointer that tied the game with 20.3 seconds left.
Eventually, FEU lost not only the game to Ateneo, 68-64, in overtime but missed out on outright twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four as the top seed.
Racela believes FEU’s protest is valid as it was a ‘grave error’ on the part of game officials due to a ‘misapplication’ of league rules on video replays.
Racela cited Rule 4 of the UAAP ground rules on video replay that says, “Determining whether a shot is a 2 or 3 points will be allowed by reviewing the tapes at the FIRST DEADBALL OPPORTUNITY, timeout and before the end of the period concerned, as the case may be.”
Racela said there were four dead ball situations after Pessumal’s contested shot and a review should have been done on the first occurence.
“Why was the decision done AFTER four dead ball opportunities? The only time the officials were allowed to review was in the first dead ball opportunity and that happened with 2:07 left with the score at FEU 57 – ADMU 51. The game should have been stopped at this point for the video replay review,” said Racela.
“As a longtime basketball analyst, I am sure you (Jao) will agree that there is a big difference from adding one point for ADMU at FEU 57 – ADMU 51 with 2:07 left in the game rather than at FEU 58 – ADMU 56 with 27 seconds left in the game,” said Racela.
The FEU coach also claimed there was no clear proof that Pessumal’s basket was a three-pointer based on footages by ABS-CBN Sports, citing Rule 5 of the same ground rules stating that “in the event the video monitor does not show clearly whether the shot is 2 or 3, the referee’s decision when the shot was made will stay.”
Racela said there is enough grounds for protest since FEU claims a 'technicality' affected the game's outcome.
“A protest is valid when it is based on technicality which affected the OUTCOME of the game. We are protesting the misapplication of the UAAP rules on video replay (which is clearly a technicality) and not in any way a judgement matter on the part of the officials. This grave error determined the outcome of the game,” said Racela.