COMMISSIONER Chito Loyzaga cited a UAAP house rule to shed light on the controversial unsportsmanlike foul slapped on an Adamson player that all but decided the Falcons' game against De La Salle on Wednesday.
Sought for comment on the unsportsmanlike foul called on Gian Abrigo in the final 15.9 seconds of the Falcons' 67-70 loss to the Archers, Loyzaga said there is a league rule that says all fouls away from the ball in the final two minutes are deemed ‘unsportsmanlike’ in nature.
Loyzaga showed to a handful of sportswriters the article on the league handbook pertaining to fouls on such cases, which read: “All fouls committed during deadball situations and/or the game clock is stopped will be assessed as unsportsmanlike foul only in the last two minutes.”
“Hindi ako gumawa ang patakaran na ‘yan. Hindi rin referees ang gumawa niyan,” Loyzaga said.
Abrigo was slapped with the foul as he jockeyed for position with La Salle center Norberto Torres while the Archers were inbounding the ball.
Loyzaga, however, didn’t give a clear answer on whether the call was indeed correct.
“Damned if you do, damned if you don’t,” Loyzaga said. “Kapag hindi tinawag, magagalit ang La Salle. Kapag tinawag, magagalit ang Adamson.”
The Falcons had slammed the officials for the call that helped the Archers escape in the endgame after blowing a 15-point lead. (For full story, see Ruffled feathers: Falcons slam refs as late unsportsmanlike foul aids Archers' escape)
Adamson coach Leo Austria said the issue was not about whether the foul was unsportsmanlike in nature or not but on whether a foul should have been called in the first place.
“From the start to finish, physical pero bakit sa last play na ‘yun, kailangang ibigay ang foul?” said a frustrated Austria.
“Kung talagang may foul ‘yung tawagan, pero as far as sa nakita ko, they are (jockeying) for position. In fact, hindi siya (Abrigo) ang nauna, si Torres eh,” said Austria.
When asked to comment on the officiating, De La Salle coach Juno Sauler said: “The officials are doing great.” Sauler, who had his share of complaints during the game, then paused before saying “No comment.”
Sauler, however, said that he was aware of the rule on fouls away from play being automatically called 'unsportsmanlike' inside the last two minutes.
“That’s (an) unsportsmanlike (foul). Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to see the action because I was looking for the ball,” Sauler said.
Referees from the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas are calling the league games this season.
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