UAAP commissioner Andy Jao said the Basketball Referees Association for Schools, Colleges, and Universities (Brascu) have enough game officials to handle the league’s games this season even though it will handle the current season of the 10-team NCAA.
Concerns over the ability Brascu referees to officiate a high number of games this year were raised by UAAP coaches during the coaches’ meeting on Tuesday.
Since Brascu also officiates the NCAA matches, coaches specifically pointed out Wednesdays and Saturdays where both leagues will hold games at the same time.
But Jao and Brascu technical official Romy Guevara assured that there are enough referees to do the job for both leagues.
“The only concern would be, of course, they (Brascu referees) have committed to the NCAA where they have been working for the past two years. I told them there are enough people to go around and do the job properly,” said Jao to Spin.ph.
“We consider 25 referees as, probably, Class A or B, so that’s more than enough,” the former basketball television analyst added.
Jao, appointed as commissioner by host University of the East, also assured one coach that no referees will work back-to-back games in the first weekend of Season 77.
“In the first eight games, you will not see a person (referee) doing a repeat. I have enough people,” said Jao.
Jao also tapped Brascu when he first worked as commissioner of the collegiate basketball league in 2011. The referees pool of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) handled the UAAP games during the terms of Ato Badolato and Chito Loyzaga in the past two seasons.
National University athletic director Junel Baculi, who sits in the UAAP Board for the school, attended the coaches meeting and was satisfied with the assurances made by Jao and Guevara.
“Siyempre, we were guaranteed and assured even by the commissioner that they will see to it na hindi mangyayari ‘yun (concerns on officiating the UAAP and NCAA games). We thanked him for that na sana maganda ang officiating,” said Baculi, a former PBA head coach.
Jao said he is confident Brascu will do their jobs even better this year from the last time the pool of referees handled the league in 2011.
“When we got these people (in 2011), some of them were veterans, some were in the PBA before. A lot of them were what you can say neophytes in this game. But I’ve watched the NCAA games and I’ve seen marked improvement. ,” said Jao, a former commissioner of the Philippine Basketball League.
UE unfurls Season 77 on July 12 against University of the Philippines at 2 p.m., while defending champion De La Salle battles Far Eastern University at 4 p.m.
Ateneo takes on Adamson at 2 p.m., and NU faces runner-up University of Santo Tomas, at 4 p.m. the following day at the Big Dome.