INITIAL FINDINGS: UAAP TECHNICAL COMMITTEE DENIES DE LA SALLE PROTEST

I saw this classic ballgame on TV, Ateneo Blue Eagles vs. De La Salle Green Archers, 26 July 2007 at the Araneta coliseum. During the second quarter, we were wondering why the game was halted by a heated argument at midcourt between the two team coaches and the game officials. Play resumed with the Ateneo being slapped with a technical foul since Jai Reyes rushed into court without informing the officials table. The Blue Eagles won this game 80-77 in overtime, the first time in seven games since 2003.

And then this video gave light to the real reason why Jai Reyes rushed to court. This video was apparently one of the documentary evidences submitted by DLSU to the UAAP Board to bolster their protest. Watch this:

The UAAP allows a maximum of two foreign players per team. However, only one player can play on the court at any given time. On the basis of this video, it is clear that both Zion Laterre (an Australian forward) and Kirk Long (an American guard) were on court at the same time. Regardless of whether it was one second or three, the fact remains that they stepped on the court at the same time when the ball was in play. This is a violation of UAAP rules, therefore forfeiture of the game is in order.

However, I saw in the news today that the UAAP Technical Committee recommended to the Board to deny the said protest. Maybe it was done to keep the order in the league. Anyway, the game was won fair and square by the Blue Eagles. But the coaching staff clearly made a mistake, and the video shows us that they did. I thought that the most gentlemanly way was to admit the mistake, right then and there, during that argument in midcourt. From the excerpts of their discussion, Coach Black tried to conceal the said mishap. If he had admitted it, the problem could have been solved immediately. I highly doubt that the officials would have forfeited the game at that point. But it didn’t happen, too much wishful thinking I guess.

However, this decision is subject to review by the UAAP Board. They are scheduled to issue the final decision by week’s end. I am disappointed with the initial findings. But well, that’s life.

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