UNIVERSITY of the Philippines expressed confidence its won game against La Salle will not be forfeited in letting Rob Ricafort play after getting an intervention from the courts prior to the UAAP Season 80 match on Saturday.
The Maroons beat the reigning champ Green Archers, 98-87, behind the heroics of Paul Desiderio and Jun Manzo, who combined for 47 points in the contest. UP, however, played with Ricafort, who obtained a Temporary Restraining Order on the league's decision to declare him ineligible for reaching 25 years old during the season.
Prior to the game, UAAP executive director Rebo Saguisag said they will not prevent Ricafort from playing although there are risks to the move, including a possible forfeiture of the match.
UP coach Bo Perasol said he was sure the Maroons' match against La Salle won't be forfeited after speaking with lawyers from the school.
"'Yung mga bagay na 'yan, sinigurado ko talaga sa mga abogado ng UP. Sabi ko sa kanila, bahala kayo. (Sabi nila) oo. Sa kanila, it is more wrong to defy a court order than to follow it."
Perasol also said he was informed that there is already a precedent to the Ricafort case in which the match was not forfeited due to a TRO issuance.
"Bahala na sila. Hindi naman ako abogado. Pero kung ma-forfeit, eh di nasa kanila na 'yun. Sayang pero I'm sure they know where they are coming from and there is a precedent," said Perasol.
Perasol said the TRO was one of the motivating factors of the team in the game against La Salle.
"That's really part but if you face a team like La Salle, you will always be inspired. You are up against the strongest team. Parang lagi kong sinasabi na exam lang 'yan. Exams will make you sharper," said Perasol.