After the controversial ending to the FEU-NU match last Sunday, the Bulldogs’ coaching staff filed their protest on the decision by Commissioner Ato Badolato to uphold RR Garcia’s controversial last basket that gave the Tamaraws a 77-75 win. Tournament Commissioner At Badolato ruled that Garcia released the ball with one-tenths of a second left and was therefore valid. But NU officials say that the video evidence was inconclusive and that the correct thing to do would be to send the match into overtime if not a replay.
A decision on the protest was supposed to be made today but as of 8pm Monday night, there was no word yet. A conversation with UAAP President Nilo Ocampo of NU told me that there is no truth to any rumor that they are trying to pressure the Commissioner to change his decision. “That is not our way,” said Ocampo. “When the tape was being reviewed we stayed at a distance. If we do not receive a favorable decision to extend the match to an overtime period then we will elevate this to the UAAP’s Technical Committee. We will abide with whatever decision they come up with. But for now we will pursue this until a final decision is rendered. It is a crucial match with Final Four implications and we will support our coaching staff and team.”
My take on this is that the UAAP Board should never get involved in decisions pertaining to sporting events because it will always be under suspicion regarding agendas and vendettas. I have written and said time and against hat the appointment of a commissioner should not be on a yearly basis but for a contract of several years. The commissioner should have say on the tournament decisions with a higher body to hear appeals. And this body should never be composed of member schools.
Case in point: the two schools involved are FEU and NU. Should this go to the technical committee/board or whoever, who are the remaining schools involved? Three others are contending for a title. Some will want either FEU or NU out to better their seeding.
Thinking aloud, maybe this is where they elevate it to the Technical Committee of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas.
I’d like to think that the UAAP member schools will make informed, fair, and unbiased judgments but no. I have been following the league and their many decisions over the years and I cannot say that all the decisions are controversy free or even correct.
And I think that it is time to finally cover all the gray areas of the rulebook. And while they are at that, the rulebook should be printed in book format rather than printed in bond paper because that looks so unprofessional.
Going back to the issue, have there been UAAP basketball games that were replayed? There’s the controversial 1992 championship game between DLSU and FEU. And I think (I hope I remember this correctly, a Ateneo-UST game sometime in the late 1990s).
And there’s the matter of precedent. I am not a lawyer and wouldn’t begin to know the whys and wherefores of precedent But should that always be considered in decisions? I am not saying that I am not for it but would like to engage in discussion regarding this.
More on this tomorrow…