LA Salle center Arnold Van Opstal has been given a ‘stern warning’ by the UAAP Commissioner’s Office for an alleged hit at the back of the head of Ateneo's Fonzo Gotladera on Sunday.
UAAP commissioner Andy Jao said the office made the decision after meeting with the Green Archers big man before Wednesday’s doubleheader at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“In the end, all of us decided that we will give Arnold a stern warning,” said Jao.
“I don’t even think it’s a disqualifying foul because he hit him in this part,” added Jao, pointing to the area around his wrist.
Allegations of Van Opstal punching or elbowing Gotladera in the first quarter of the La Salle-Ateneo game on Sunday came after Ateneo, according to sources, sought a review of the play.
“Sa amin, we were not supposed to review these things,” said Jao. “What we review is the calls of the referees but because it’s out there, I have no choice but to look at it.”
Jao said Van Opstal was even surprised that he was summoned because of the alleged hit on Gotladera, saying he thought the summon was about a trashtalking incident with Chris Newsome.
According to Jao, Van Opstal explained that he will never hit Gotladera, who he said is a friend, former teammate and classmate back when the Ateneo big man spent two seasons at La Salle.
Jao said the Commissioner’s Office wasn’t able to prove conclusively Van Opstal threw a punch or an elbow, based on the video.
Nevertheless, the act, Jao said, merits a warning that another similar infractions will merit a suspension.
“But obviously, it’s not a good action for a role model like him and a high-profile person like him,” said Jao.