UNIVERSITY of the East has apologized to University Games organizers for skip the men’s basketball finals in Bacolod City last weekend in favor of the Asian collegiate tournament in Taiwan this week.
In a letter to Unigames president Roger Banzuela, UE team manager Jesus Tanchanco made the apology while explaining the circumstances behind the team's decision to forfeit the finals against National University. He said the Warriors needed to fulfill a commitment to play in the Asian University Basketball Championships.
“It is with much regret that we had to leave the UniGames sooner than anticipated last Saturday night and thus miss on our shot at the finals the next day,” Tanchanco wrote. “This is due to our earlier commitment to the Asian University Basketball Federation (AUBF) to represent not just UE but the entire country in the Asia-wide AUBF tournament this end of October up to early November in Taipei.
“We are also representing the Philippines and Southeast Asia in the AUBF this week in the wake of the UE Red Warriors’ winning of the championship at last September’s Southeast Asian leg of the ongoing 9th AUBF tournament.”
Tanchanco reiterated that they tried to find a workable solution so that they can play in the championship game against National University.
“We were likewise more than willing to pay for the possible penalties to be incurred with the airlines for the rebooking of our flights to Taipei and the possibility of flying out from Bacolod or Iloilo instead of Manila, but such options were simply unavailable. There were also no available seats among listed flights to Taipei this past weekend,” Tanchanco said.
He also added that UE made several attempts to reach out to UniGames officials in hopes of resolving the matter.
“But we were unable to connect with anyone among the organizers, who were presumably busy overseeing the orderly conduct of the remainder of the tournament,” said Tanchanco.
The UE team manager also thanked the UniGames organizers for inviting the Red Warriors despite missing the Final Four of the recent UAAP wars.
"We had to make the difficult decision of forfeiting our chances at a UniGames title in favor of proverbially carrying the Philippine flag as we compete against the respective national teams of China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Japan, Mongolia and South Korea this week. We apologize for this inadvertent turn of events to you and to everyone who may have felt let down in the process,” Tanchanco said.
Tanchanco also hopes that UE will still be invited in the next UniGames basketball tournament despite the incident.