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    UAAP commissioner Andy Jao's decision to junk FEU protest leaves more questions than answers

    Sep 18, 2014

    THE decision by UAAP commissioner Andy Jao to junk the protest of Far Eastern University regarding the questionable three-point shot of Ateneo’s Von Pessumal during their UAAP men’s basketball game Saturday raised more questions than answers.

    FEU athletic director Mark Molina released a statement about the school accepting the decision of the commissioner’s office. However, he said there are still issues that remained unanswered.

    Molina stressed three points in his statement, the most major of which is the third one that seeks the interpretation of the UAAP Board on the video replay rule which states, “determining whether a shot is a 2 or 3 points will be allowed by reviewing the tapes at the First Dead Ball Opportunity, timeout and before the end of the period concerned.”

    “We stress the fact that the rule says “AND” and not “OR”. If the rule means you can review before the end of the period then why was the phrase. “FIRST DEAD BALL OPPORTUNITY” added to the rule? The Board’s guidance regarding the interpretation is very important for future games,” the FEU official stressed.

    The other points raised by Molina concern about referee Maynard Ballecer, and Jojo Villa along with the other members of the technical committee.

    “The letter states that ‘When the shot went in, the trail Referee, Maynard Ballecer, raised his two hands confirming the 3 points conversion.’ In the attached video of the shot Maynard Ballecer does not raise his two hands.

    “Who said he raised his two hands? If he did raise his two hands, why didn’t the scorer see him? Ballecer was near the half court line and there was no obstruction between him and the scorer.”

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    “If Jojo Villa and other members of the Technical Committee immediately knew that it was a three point shot, then the lack of sense of urgency to make the correction is inexcusable. It would have taken less than 30 seconds for a member of the Technical Committee to go to the scorer’s table and have the buzzer pressed on the first dead ball opportunity.

     “Letting 3 minutes of game time (or more than 10 minutes of actual time) pass before correcting an error should not happen in a league with the magnitude and stature of the UAAP.”

    On Tuesday, Jao stood by the league's decision counting Pessumal’s basket as a three-pointer which occurred at the 3:20 mark of the fourth quarter that cut what was once an imposing FEU lead to 57-49.

    The Blue Eagles went on to win the game in overtime, 68-64, allowing them to clinch the no. 1 seed and a twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four.

    The loss meanwhile, sent the Tamaraws to a playoff against defending champion La Salle Green Archers to determine the no. 2 seed team that also enjoys a twice-to-beat edge in the semifinals.

    The FEU-La Salle tussle is set Sunday (4 p.m.) at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Both teams finished the eliminations with similar 10-4 records.

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