COMMISSIONER Chito Loyzaga has suspended referee Francisco Olivar for three UAAP game days for the controversial unsportsmanlike foul on Adamson’s Gian Abrigo in the waning moments of the Falcons' loss to De La Salle on Wednesday.
In a memorandum addressed to the league's technical committee, Loyzaga said the foul slapped on Abrigo as he battled for position with La Salle’s Norbert Torres in the last 15 seconds of the game was an “untimely decision” which gave the Green Archers an undue advantage.
Loyzaga noted that Olivar is a Fiba-licensed referee with a wide experience in officiating games both locally and overseas, but added the official should not have made such a decision.
“Mr. Olivar is a qualified and experienced referee who officiates both local and international games. Unfortunately, at the Adamson/De La Salle game, he made an untimely decision to call a foul in the last 15 seconds of the game. The call resulted in an advantage to La Salle, which eventually won the game,” Loyzaga said in the memo.
Loyzaga also took responsibility for what happened and apologized to Adamson coach Leo Austria.
“As the commissioner of the league this season, I take full responsibility of the actions made by the member of the league’s technical unit. While Mr. Olivar is a valuable member of the officiating team, he will therefore be suspended from officiating for three game days,” Loyzaga said.
“To Coach Leo Austria, the Adamson team and the Adamson community, please accept our sincerest apologies on this matter,” he added.
The decision came a day after Adamson said it was filing an official complaint to the UAAP technical committee for the controversial call along with inconsistencies in the officiating during the game.
The Falcons were trailing by two points, 65-67, after coming back from 15 points behind with 15.9 seconds remaining when Abrigo was called for an unsportsmanlike foul on Torres based on a UAAP rule that fouls away from the ball or in deadball situations are ruled as such in the final two minutes of games.
The call resulted in Torres shooting two free throws and ball possession for the Archers which effectively sealed Adamson’s fate.
While the UAAP is guided by several house rules as well as Fiba rules, Loyzaga recognized that players should always be allowed to decide the outcome of games.
“Taking this within the context of the ADU-DLSU game, maintaining the momentum of play in the last two minutes, sometimes achieved by refraining from having to call fouls, would increase the chances of having the players decide the outcome of the game,” Loyzaga said.
It is still not clear, as of posting time, if Adamson will pursue plans to file the official complaint.
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