UNIVERSITY of the East has formally appealed to the UAAP technical committee to downgrade the two-game suspension on Ralf Olivares, stressing the player had no intention to step on National University’s Nico Javelona during the second quarter of their game last Saturday.
In a letter addressed to the committee, coach Boycie Zamar said Olivares didn’t notice Javelona was lying on the floor when his foot landed on the stomach of the NU guard.
Zamar explained Olivares was going for an offensive rebound after an Adi Santos shot but wasn’t aware Javelona was still on the floor after an early collision between the two.
“As instinct, Olivares had to make sure that in case the ball would not go in, he got ready for a rebound so he side-stepped with his head up high and his eyes focused on the ball that he did not see that Javelona was still down lying on the floor,” Zamar wrote.
The UE coach also said there was no space for Olivares to move when he jumped for the rebound as he tried to avoid Javelona.
“Upon noticing he stepped on somebody, Olivares swung his other foot to avoid further stepping on Javelona,” Zamar added.
The UAAP technical committee is expected to make a decision before UE’s game against La Salle on Wednesday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.