The University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) denied on Friday, Oct. 4, the motion for reconsideration filed by the University of the Philippines to shorten the three-game suspension against Fighting Maroons’ men’s basketball team head coach Bo Perasol.
The sanctions stemmed from the unsportsmanlike behavior of Perasol during the game on Sunday, which ended with an 89-63 loss for the Fighting Maroons at the hands of the Ateneo Blue Eagles. Perasol got ejected from the game at the third quarter after being slapped with two technical fouls.
Per UAAP General guidelines, UAAP General Tournament Guidelines, any student-athlete, coach, trainer, team manager, team official or accompanying delegation member who got disqualified, thrown out of, or ejected from the game because of unsportsmanlike behavior will merit a one-game suspension.
In a statement, UAAP Commissioner Jensen Ilagan further explained his reasons for the additional two game suspension against Perasol. Ilagan said that replay reviews showed that the head coach uttered harsh words toward game official Jaime Rivano even after his ejection. The UAAP executive also noted that Perasol refused to leave the court despite knowing full that he was asked to do so, verbally attacked Rivano through obscene and disrespectful language, and pointed an accusing and threatening finger at the referee on his way to the locker room.
Ilagan also cited Article 9.2.3 of the UAAP General Tournament Guidelines, which states that ‘it is the responsibility of the Tournament Commissioner or its equivalent to imposing disciplinary measures on any student-athlete, team official, and/or any accompanying delegation member who violates the fundamental values of respect, fairness, civility, honesty, and responsibility; demonstrates highly unsportsmanlike conduct; and/or deliberately employs dangerous or dirty tactics or fouls in the course of any game or sporting events’.
“Officiating may not be perfect, but it cannot justify outbursts like what he did. As head coach, he should know that he is a role model, and in the UAAP where character building is of paramount importance, Mr. Perasol should have been aware of that,” Ilagan said.
While Perasol apologized after the incident, the commissioners said that it was not directed to the collegiate league, which the UP coach also disrespected with his actions.
“Respect should be observed at all times. Mr. Perasol did not only disrespect the officials that time but the UAAP as well,” Ilagan said.
“The sad part here is that Mr. Perasol never apologized to the UAAP for what he did,” the UAAP official added.
Ilagan also called for all member-schools of UAAP to exemplify the core values of the collegiate league: respect, fairness, civility, honesty, and responsibility. He added that the universities play an important role in the total development of student-athletes.
While Perasol serves his three-game suspension, Fighting Maroons assistant coach Ricky Dandan will be calling the shots for the team’s matches against Far Eastern University Tamaraws on Sunday, Oct. 6; University of the East Red Warriors on Oct. 12; and the University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigers on Oct. 16.
Meanwhile, Atty. Patricia Galang, one of the lawyers tapped to help UP College of Human Kinetics Dean Francis “Kiko” Diaz to prepare the motion for reconsideration, said that they will elevate their appeal to the UAAP Board of Trustees while studying other legal options.
The camp of UP criticized the decision of Ilagan and called ‘it terribly misguided and based on a poor understanding of the tournament rules, a faulty appreciation of the facts, and a blatant disregard for precedent’.
“Even if you look at those so-called acts by themselves, do they merit a one-game suspension? They say Coach Bo pointed an accusing and threatening finger to the official and that he deserves a one-game suspension for this; but other coaches do the same during the game without even the benefit of a technical,” a statement from UP read.
“The Commissioner talks about the values of what makes the UAAP and sports great, but he forgot the most important one: fairness,” the statement added.