UAAP commissioner clarifies refs' suspension 'preventive' in nature and not a penalty
UAAP commissioner Rebo Saguisag kept mum on the actions they will take on Adamson's protest but ordering the semis game vs La Salle to be played again is highly unlikely.

COMMISSIONER Rebo Saguisag said the UAAP is conducting a thorough investigation into Adamson's  controversial 82-75 loss to La Salle in the UAAP Season 80 semifinals last Saturday but kept mum on possible actions his office will make.

“A lot actually depends on the outcome of the review and investigation. We can’t tell you what (actions will be taken) just yet,” Saguisag said in a text message to on Tuesday.

Saguisag said that while the results of the judicious review remains pending, he doesn’t see anything at this point that will warrant a replay of the match or a reversal of the Green Archers’ win.

In an interview during the morning edition of CNN Philippines’ Sports Desk, Saguisag assured the public that the Office of the Commissioner is working double time in investigating the matter.

“It was the first time na aside from the losing team which you expect the complaint from, there are some sectors who uh, parang nangamusta kung ano nangyari,” he said. “So of course I cannot be insensitive to the public because at the end of the day, they are the audience eh. We have to address kung ano man ang saloobin.”

When asked if there’s a possibility of re-playing the match – something that Adamson fans have been clamoring – the youthful commissioner said the chances of it happening are slim, although he didn’t shoot the idea down altogether.

“At the moment, again without prejudice to further findings, I don’t think naman offhand that the mistakes if at all were that blatant to warrant a reversal or a replay,” Saguisag explained.  

“If it involves judgment calls, hindi siya criteria for protest eh. They should be technical in nature, like mis-officiation (sic) of the rules, misapplication of the mechanics or ganyan, pero kung judgment calls, ibang usapan kasi. That would not warrant a reversal or a replay,” he added.

The last time the league ordered a replay was back in 2012 when then-commissioner Ato Badolato ordered the National University–Far Eastern University match to be played again after a review established that RR Garcia’s game winner failed to beat the final buzzer.

This time, though, it’s different with the Falcons questioning the integrity of the referees involved in the match after La Salle got a 39-5 advantage on free throw attempts, with 33 fouls being called on the Falcons in contrast to the Archers’ 12.


For Saguisag, however, that shouldn’t be the main contention in this protest saying that the style of play and personnel of both teams were key to the calls.

“What bothers me is when they talk about 39 free throws vs five free throws.  Ako I had my personal review already, I don’t have the exact numbers yet but the brand of play is really different,” Saguisag continued.  

“Nobody attacks the basket like Ben Mbala, sa kabila naman, we have Jerrick Ahanmisi and Rob Manalang who live in the perimeter and the three-point area,” he added.

Saguisag also confirmed suspending referees Ian Borbe, Mollie de Luna and Enan Alejo, though in fairness to the three, Saguisag cleared that the suspensions are merely preventive until the investigation into the case reaches its conclusion.

“Sabi ko, para di magkagulo, it was our decision, I used the word suspension pero to be clear ang suspension kasi can be a form of penalty or a preventive measure. In this case, kasi hindi pa tayo tapos e,” Saguisag said.  

“Our findings are still provisional, pero pending investigation para wala muna tayong gulo, ilalabas ko muna yung tatlo para hindi naman sila masyadong mabaon, and they get to have a chance to clear their name if warranted.”  

Follow the writer on Twitter: @CAJacinto11