UAAP basketball commissioner Chito Loyzaga said he was merely implementing the league rules when he slapped two-game suspensions on University of the East players Charles Mammie and Lord Casajeros after last Saturday's double overtime thriller against Far Eastern University.
Loyzaga said league rules state that a third unsportsmanlike foul for the season merits an automatic two-game suspension as he explained the penalties that will have Mammie and Casajeros sitting out crucial UE games against National University on Saturday and De La Salle on September 4.
The former PBA cager said Mammie and Casajeros violated the “spirit of the game” following separate incidents involving FEU star Terrence Romeo in their classic 98-94 double overtime victory over UE.
“(They were) not playing within the spirit of the game. Hindi naman ganun ang laro ng basketball,” said Loyzaga. “Patakaraan ng UAAP ‘yun, hindi ko ginawa ‘yun. It’s another unsportsmanlike foul, sinundan ko lang (ang rules ng liga).
“If I don’t act on it, ‘yung kabila naman ang magsasabi na why I didn’t act on that,” he added.
(For full story, see UE duo Mammie, Casajeros hit with two-game ban for 'attack' on Romeo)
Loyzaga also insisted Mammie deserved to be slapped with an unsportsmanlike foul when Romeo landed on the UE center's foot after throwing up a three-point shot early in the fourth quarter.
“Talagang unsportsmanlike dahil linagay niya ‘yung paa niya sa landing area nung ballplayer and hindi naman nakataas ang kamay niya or hindi nakatingin sa player,” said Loyzaga.
Reacting to claims that Romeo was merely ‘acting’ and feigning an injury after the clash with Mammie, Loyzaga said such never came into play in his decision to slap an unsportsmanlike foul on Mammie.
“Hindi ‘yun ang issue,” Loyzaga said.
In the case of Casajeros, Loyzaga said the UE forward actually had two unsportsmanlike fouls in the game against FEU. He was previously warned and given an unsportsmanlike foul for a similar infraction in a skirmish with Adamson’s Roider Cabrera in the first round.
Loyzaga said Casajeros was caught elbowing Romeo in the first overtime for his fifth personal foul, which was later upgraded to an unsportsmanlike foul after a video review.
Loyzaga added Casajeros was also caught in a punching or elbowing motion directed at Romeo in the second quarter, an incident which the referees failed to see but was clear during the video review.
“I don’t know kung binibigyan nang suntok or siko pero blind side … As far as I’m concerned, I believe that if that call was made, disqualifying foul ‘yun,” said Loyzaga.