THE NCAA management committee on Monday night has put its weight behind Commissioner Joe Lipa’s recommendation that Letran coach Louie Alas should issue a public apology for his slit-throat gesture in Game Two of the men’s basketball Finals to escape suspension.
Mancom vice-chairman Dax Castellano of College of St. Benilde announced the decision in lieu of chairman Fr. Vic Calvo Jr. O.P., Letran's representative, who inhibited himself from the panel along with San Beda’s representative Mari Lacson.
“The Mancom, after due deliberation, has decided to uphold the recommendation of Commissioner Lipa which is for (Alas) to issue a public apology for questioning the integrity of the Office of the Commissioner and for questioning the integrity of the NCAA as a league and their choice of the officiating through gestures seen by thousands of fans in the playing venue,” Castellano said.
“Failure to do so will merit a one-game suspension,” Castellano added.
Alas, 49, appeared in the meeting to air his side. And judging from what he said, the multi-titled mentor will likely escape suspension.
“I’m very sorry for my gesture. I didn’t mean to disrespect anyone,” said Alas, who made the gesture in disgust over the officiating in Game Two, particularly an offensive foul call on his son, Kevin, late in the third quarter.
“Tinawag ng panahon yun,” Alas said. “I’m just doing my job. I’m always for the welfare of my team.”
The Mancom said its decision will depend on how it interprets the words of the Letran mentor.
The Mancom is also deferring any decision on referees’ supervisor Romy Guevarra until it hears the side of the veteran officials. Guevarra was not present during the Monday meeting, but is scheduled to appear before the collegiate body on Tuesday.
Guevarra himself was caught in the video by countering Alas’ gesture when he charged over the Letran bench and gave the coach a dirty finger in the waning seconds of the Knights’ 64-55 win over the Red Lions in Game 2 of the Finals.