UNIVERSITY of the East will put its 55-90 loss to National University under protest over the wrong uniform the Bulldogs’ Emmanuel Mbe had worn in the opening game of the UAAP season.
UE coach Jerry Codinera confirmed that they are putting the game under protest on the grounds that Mbe’s shorts did not have patches of team sponsors that were present in the kits of his teammates.
Codinera said they plan to formalize the protest in a letter to the league's technical committee.
“I believe that (the result of the game) can be overturned because rules are rules,” said Codinera.
A UAAP official, however, thinks otherwise.
“The [result of a] game can’t be overturned due to a wrong uniform,” said the official who asked not to be named since he is not authorized to speak on behalf of the league.
A similar incident occurred in 2008 when Kirk Long and Vince Burke wore wrong uniforms in a game against University of the Philippines. The Maroons later decided not to file a protest.
League commissioner Ato Badolato said he will forward the case to the UAAP board for resolution if NU files a formal protest over the next 48 hours.
Badolato said results of games in the rival NCAA have been overturned in the past because of jersey violations, but he could'nt recall any precedent in the UAAP.
Actually, Mbe failed to play in the first half because the jersey he brought to the game didn’t have his No. 14 on the front.
“We were also caught off guard,” said NU coach Eric Altamirano. "We asked the commissioner (Ato Badolato) if he could play but he said no."
His extra jersey was transported from NU to SM Mall of Asia Arena in time for Mbe to play in the second half.
Fortunately for the Bulldogs, another Cameroonian in Henri Betayene stepped up in the first half. The rookie came up big especially on the defensive end with four blocks.
“Henri played very well for us. He actually dictated the tempo in the first quarter,” Altamirano said.
Mbe went on to play in the second half and finished with four points and five rebounds.