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UAAP suspends referees in La Salle-Adamson Final Four clash

/ 11:37 AM November 21, 2017

Franz Pumaren. Photo by Tristan Tamayo

The UAAP has suspended the referees, who officiated in La Salle’s controversial 82-75 win over Adamson in their UAAP Season 80 Final Four duel.

The suspension came three days after the game that saw the Green Archers book a return trip to the finals.


In a letter addressed to Adamson athletic director Fr. Aldrin Suan, CM, league commissioner Rebo Saguisag said that the school, which was outraged by the officiating, “are not alone.”

“I called for an emergency meeting the very next day to address the seeming public outrage over said game to send a message to the referees that much is at stake,” Saguisag wrote, sharing that he, alongside tournament director Mark Molina of FEU and Erika Dy of Ateneo met on Sunday to discuss the urgent matters surrounding the game’s officiating.


Adamson was called for 33 fouls, while La Salle was only whistled for 12. Those calls led to the Green Archers shooting 26-of-39 from the free throw line, while the Soaring Falcons shot just 2-of-5.

Those freebies certainly helped defending champion La Salle overcome a 15-point deficit in the third period and beat Adamson, 82-75.

The Adamson community were dismayed, prompting Suan to pen a letter to Saguisag regarding the matter.

“From the bleacher’s standpoint, and even if one does not know how a foul can be committed, it is loud and clear that the calls made by the referees were downrightly unfair and biased. The manner the game was officiated was revolting and calls for an immediate action in order to forestall its duplication in the future,” Suan wrote. “In hindsight, the game was marred by a biased refereeing.”

Saguisag said the technical committee has decided to suspend referees Enan Alejo, Ian Borbe, and Mollie de Luna indefinitely, with two of them being considered for a possible ban for the rest of the season.

“While we are still in the process of evaluating the whole game together with the statistics, the officials that worked [the La Salle-Adamson] game were immediately suspended with two strongly recommended for being banned for the rest of the season, if only to preserve public confidence in our league,” Saguisag wrote.

Adamson coach Franz Pumaren also expressed his displeasure with the officiating following the loss, describing it as “the worst officiated game” he ever saw.


“I don’t want to sound sourgraping but I guess all the basketball fans saw the game. I guess, everybody saw the game, everybody noticed and knows what happened. Stepping out of the Coliseum, my friends from La Salle were embarrassed and can’t even celebrate the victory,” he said.

In contrast, La Salle coach Aldin Ayo liked how the game was officiated.

“It’s a good thing, the referees were consistent,” Ayo said.

For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity.

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TAGS: Adamson Soaring Falcons, aldin ayo, Franz Pumaren, La Salle Green Archers, Rebo Saguisag, UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball tournament
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