The University of the Philippines (UP) has filed a motion for reconsideration in order to appeal the three-game suspension imposed by the University Athletic Association of the Philippine (UAAP) against Fighting Maroons men’s basketball team head coach Bo Perasol.
UAAP Commissioner Jensen Ilagan sanctioned Perasol for his unsportsmanlike behavior during a game on Sunday, Sept. 29, which UP lost to the Ateneo Blue Eagles. 89-63. The head coach of the Fighting Maroons confronted a game official in the middle of the third quarter. His actions resulted to two technical fouls and an automatic ejection from the game.
Based on the 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.
Atty. Patricia Galang, who helped UP College of Human Kinetics Dean Francis “Kiko” Diaz in the preparation of the MR, said that UP raised several issues regarding the factual bases of the penalty and the legal basis of the UAAP Tournament Commissioner to mete out a multi-game suspension based on the violations of Perasol.
“As we discussed in the MR, it is our contention that the three-game suspension of Coach Bo is excessive, unwarranted, and unprecedented,” said Galang, who is also a founding member of NowheretogobutUP, a foundation helping UP sports teams.
The lawyer said that they hope that Ilagan would revisit his decision to suspend Perasol for three games, ‘and compare the incident and its corresponding punishment with similar incidents in the past’.
“As video footage shows, Coach Bo uttered some harsh words but he did not at any point hit or make physical contact with referee Jaime Rivano. At most I think one could argue that Coach Bo stood in an aggressive manner, but he did nothing beyond that,” she said.
Galang added that Perasol has already issued an apology, and that he, along with UP, acknowledged that he should be sanctioned for his actions.
“This is why Coach Bo apologized and said he was ready to accept the consequences of his actions. But like Coach said, this is too harsh. We know that tough sanctions are sometimes needed to deter unwelcome behavior on the court, but the penalties meted out by the UAAP should be commensurate to the violation,” Galang said.
The camp of UP insists that there is an ‘unclear factual basis for the additional two-game penalty imposed on Coach Bo’.
Galang believes that Ilagan created a new offense in the form of continuous flagrant acts of aggression and arbitrarily suspended Perasol for two more games.
“Coach Bo got a one game suspension for his ejection; that is clear under Rule 9.2.1., which says that if you’re ejected from the game, you’re suspended in the next game. So what’s the basis for the additional two games? The Commissioner says it is for ‘continuous flagrant acts of aggression,’ a violation that does not exist as defined by tournament rules,” Galang said.
The lawyer also mentioned that the guidelines disseminated during the 16 August 2019 pre-tournament meeting regarding additional penalties on similar offenses committed by players gave the following parameters: for their first offense, a written reprimand; for the second offense, a one game suspension; for the third offense, a two game suspension; and for the fourth offense, suspension for the entire season.
“As you can see, the intention is to impose stiffer penalties for repeat offenders. In the rule mentioned, a two-game suspension is meted out only after the offense is committed for the third time within the season; clearly, this is not the case with Coach Bo,” Galang insisted