Ateneo tests UST; UAAP suspends UP Maroons coach
MANILA, Philippines — The misery continues for the University of the Philippines as the winless squad tries to do without suspended coach Rey Madrid for the rest of the first round in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament.
UAAP commissioner Andy Jao yesterday slapped Madrid a two-game suspension starting Wednesday for accusing the league referees of point shaving, a type of match fixing linked to gambling.
“He did not offer any proof of his allegations and I have to make him accountable for his actions and words,” said Jao.
The blow came just as the Maroons clash with defending champion La Salle at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Ateneo, which eyes a share of the lead, tangles with University of Santo Tomas in the second game at 4 p.m.
The Maroons, who haven’t won in 26 games since 2012, will also miss Madrid in their final first-round assignment against Adamson on Saturday.
Madrid plans to appeal the suspension, noting that he already apologized for his post-game comments where he alleged the referees were involved in match fixing during the Maroons’ loss to University of Santo Tomas, 57-73, last Saturday
“I think it’s too harsh,” said Madrid. “I already apologized for what I have done and even talked to him (Jao) personally. I just aired my view on what can be improved on the officiating.”
While the Maroons try to adjust without their coach, the Archers may also have to do without their two star centers again.
The Archers shoot for a fourth straight victory with injured big men Arnold Van Opstal (achilles injury) and Norbert Torres (sprained ankle) likely sitting out for the second straight game.
La Salle coach Juno Sauler said Van Opstal and Torres’ status remains “day-to-day” as both have been advised to rest for week.
Although the Archers are heavily favored, Sauler said he’s more focused on improving their game after sub-par performances from Jeron Teng and Jason Perkins in their 67-48 thumping of Adamson.
“It’s not really who we play but what we want to accomplish,” said Sauler.