DE La Salle will not put its game against National University under protest despite a mix-up that had the Bulldogs' Emmanuel Mbe wearing two different jerseys in their UAAP men’s basketball match on Sunday.
Photos spread online showing Mbe playing with a different set of jerseys during the first and second quarter, with netizens pointing out that the first kit he used had a different sponsor patch compared to the second.
Netizens also wondered if the mix-up could be enough grounds for a La Salle protest of the game which the Bulldogs won, 63-56.
However, Henry Atayde, La Salle’s representative to the league board, said a rule covering wrong uniforms instituted by the UAAP in 2009 makes a protest pointless.
Under the UAAP rule, it is the responsibility of the aggrieved team to point out the wrong uniform to game officials during the game, said Atayde.
“If the coaching staff had pointed it out during the game, it would be called a technical foul with two (free throw) shots,” Atayde explained. “The player will need to leave the court but can come back with the correct uniform.”
Teams cannot be penalized after the fact.
A longtime UAAP official said the rule was put in place to avoid incidents from being decided off court.
It marked the second consecutive year Mbe brought a wrong set of jersey during a game.
Last season, Mbe initially wore a jersey without a number at the front during the Bulldogs’ opening game against University of the East. The Cameroonian center had to wait for the correct set of uniforms before seeing action.
Cases of protest due to wrong uniform had occurred not only in the UAAP but also in the NCAA.
In 2008 or a year before the UAAP rule on uniforms was instituted, San Beda lost a game against College of Saint Benilde via forfeiture after Sam Ekwe wore an incorrect playing jersey.
In the UAAP, La Salle’s OJ Cua was also caught wearing the wrong uniform against University of the Philippines. The Fighting Maroons reportedly put the game under protest during the course of the match, which they won anyway.
In another UAAP game involving the Maroons against Ateneo in 2008, Blue Eagles Kirk Long and Vince Burke were caught wearing the wrong jerseys although UP didn’t file a protest on the incident.