SAN JUAN, Ilocos Sur — Basketball officials of the Palarong Pambansa denied a protest lodged against Calabarzon's secondary boys team for not wearing the proper uniform in a win against Zamboanga Peninsula on Monday.
Calabarzon players from many-time NCAA champion San Beda wore different uniforms during the game, prompting Central Luzon coach Allen Trinidad to lash out at organizers who he said allowed the Palaro to be turned into a veritable ‘inter-purok’ tournament.
However, Palaro basketball tournament manager Edilberto Abalos explained that ground rules are very clear with regards to such incidents involving uniforms.
“‘Yung protesta kasi, kinekuwestiyon ‘yung pag-gamit ng uniform. Pero malinaw sa ground rules namin na kung hindi kumpleto or not in proper uniform at meron request o sulat ‘yung delegation signed by the coach, we may allow it. And that’s why we allowed it,” said Abalos.
Abalos said organizers are more considerate to teams and players who had to travel a long way just to play in the Palaro.
Since San Beda had uniforms with numbers on it, Abalos said they decided to allow Calabarzon to play.
“Kasi ang tinitignan natin dito, mas mabigat ‘yung ico-consider natin ‘yung bata. Kasi nagpagod na ‘yan, namasahe na ‘yan, o gumastos na ang gobyerno, tapos just because of an incomplete uniform or not proper uniform na hindi naman nila control, na ang control ay ang delegasyon, papayagan ba natin na hindi maglalaro pagkatapos ifo-forfeit? Mabigat ‘yun. So we allowed it,” said Abalos.
Abalos, however, said San Beda must wear the proper uniform in its next game on Tuesday afternoon, which the team committed to do.
“If in the second game, wala pa rin, that’s the time na hindi na namin papayagan,” said Abalos.
“Meron na,” he added when asked if San Beda has promised to wear the correct uniform on Tuesday.
Abalos, a long-time tournament manager of the Palaro basketball competition, said this is not the first time that controversises related to uniforms occurred.
“Matagal na kami sa Palaro, matagal nang may problema ‘yan, either hindi dumating ‘yung pinadalahan na freight on time or talagang nahuli,” said Abalos.