THE UAAP will not be employing referees from the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) for the coming Season 77 under the watch of newly appointed basketball commissioner Andy Jao.
Jao said he is inclined hire officials from the Basketball Referees Association for Schools, Colleges, and Universities (Brascu) of former national coach Joe Lipa and ex-PBA referees supervisor Romy Guevera instead of refs from the pool of the country's governing body for basketball.
“I’m comfortable with the group of Romy Guevara,” said Jao in an interview with Spin.ph.
Incidentally, Brascu will also be the game officials for Season 90 of the NCAA under new commissioner Arturo ‘Bai’ Cristobal, which may lead to a conflict in schedule for the two leagues and the Brascu pool of referees being spread thin in certain playdates.
Asked about his plan to utilize Brascu officials, Jao was frank enough to say that he felt SBP referees didn’t do a good job in the last few seasons they officiated games in the UAAP seniors’, women’s, and juniors’ tournaments.
“I don’t want to use the referees that were used in the last two years. I just don’t like the way they called the games,” Jao said.
Jao tapped the SBP pool of referees during his first stint as UAAP commissioner back in 2011, but the same game officials have come under criticism from coaches and officials over the last few years.
In 2012, then-University of Santo Tomas coach Pido Jarencio openly lashed out at the way SBP referees officiated in Game One of the Finals against Ateneo.
And just last season, an SBP referee was suspended for calling a controversial unsportsmanlike foul against Adamson’s Gian Abrigo in the waning moments of the Falcons’ second-round game against La Salle.
UAAP commissioner Chito Loyzaga later admitted the call was ‘untimely’ and gave undue advantage to the Green Archers, who went on to win the match.
Jao said he is still to talk with Guevara about the final confirmation of Brascu’s hiring since the UAAP and NCAA will be holding games at the same time every Wednesdays.
“I’ve not yet confirmed with Romy Guevara because I know they are committed to help the NCAA. There is also a day that there will be a conflict. But I feel that they have enough. Marami silang recruits as well as mga dating beteranong referees,” said Jao.