Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Recapping UAAP Season 75 Part 2: officiating, schedules, trophies & post-season awards

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Recapping UAAP Season 75 Part 2
Touching once more on the officiating, schedules, trophies, and post-season awards
by rick olivares

I have a couple of thoughts that came to me before and after Game Two of the UAAP Men’s Basketball Finals.

The first is the officiating. A UAAP board member told me that in a couple of years the league will have its own referees.

I wonder if this is wise. If anything this underscores a never-ending problem with the NSA. As it is, you have several groups of referees. These referees are managed/co-owned/financed by people in basketball. All who have ties to certain schools and so on.

In a perfect world, these referees should all be under the aegis of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas. If you go from one league to another the quality of play and officiating is vastly different.

I recall during one FIBA tournament abroad, I asked an official why these international referees call a foul on one play but do not in another. I got the same answer and that the level of play is different from one country to another. We have enough problems as it is that we do not need to go to another’s backyard.

Ideally there should be a collective style on officiating.

Take a look at Game Two of the Final Four series between Letran and San Sebastian. The Stags’ Ronald Pascual took a three-point attempt in which Kevin Alas fouled him. Some will say, “Ah, that’s mild my NCAA standards.” But in the same play, the shot airballed and Baste’s Dexter Maiquez pushed the Knight’s Jam Cortes and that was called a foul. See what I mean?

Ah, that’s the NCAA, you say. Well, it’s even worse in the UAAP. At least in the NCAA it’s accepted that it’s physical in the UAAP who knows what is a foul today as opposed to tomorrow?

Do they even review game tape so they know what they called? I’ve sat in a few sessions with the commissioner and the referees and all they do is talk about what calls they made. How do they know they got it right or wrong? Video must certainly be used. As for the coaching challenges, if a coach loses his challenge he should be docked a time out so they will not use this as a tactic to delay the game or for an unofficial timeout.

Maybe the odds should be announced before every game so we know if people are trying to influence a game.

The SBP should gets its act together and put all these officiating groups under one umbrella. Political will.

And I still stand by my earlier opinion about the league getting a full time commissioner and a technical committee that isn’t composed of board members.

The second is the schedule. Can we all go to the previous formula of playing another team based on the standings of the previous round? And if a team plays on Thursday his next game should be Sunday and not Saturday.

All this monkeying around with the schedule leads to conspiracy theories. Before schools knew your either played once or twice a week. The worst was one had only a day’s rest before taking the court again. In recent years, well, there are three games in a week, no games for a week, then back to the meat grinder right before the playoffs.

The old formula is equitable and fair. As it is, I smell fish.

My third thought would be the trophies. I have written about that through the years and as it is, UAAP trophies come in all shapes and sizes depending on the sport and who is the host school.

When you look at sports outside our borders there’s the famous Larry O’Brien trophy, the old Big Ears of the UEFA Champions League, the Stanley Cup, the Heisman trophy, the World Cup trophy, and the tennis grand slam trophies (plates)!

Here in the Philippines, the PBA used to hand out massive monoliths for trophies before coming to their senses. In the UAAP the last several years, one year it looked like Ateneo won an Araw Award then a Archery trophy to a facsimile of the Stanley Cup to the Holy Grail. Hey, Indy!  The Holy Grail is right in Loyola Heights!

Do we even know what the general championship trophy looks like?

My point exactly.

Maybe it’s time to commission a design for one trophy to rule and bind them.

And lastly, there’s the exclusive use of statistics to determine who the Most Valuable Player or the Mythical Five. Suppose the centers from different schools ruled the stats do you have a Mythical Five of five centers? The five should come from being the best in their position. Clearly, Kiefer Ravena should have been in the Mythical Five and named the Finals MVP.

The equitable thing would be to get votes from media, the stats panel, the referees, the coaches, and technical officials.

End Part 2

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