It took a personal apology from University of the Philippines coach Bo Perasol for the UAAP to soften up and lift the last of his three-game suspension.
A day after the UAAP Board of Trustees turned down an appeal on his case, Perasol personally reached out to UAAP commissioner Jensen Ilagan last Saturday and also extended his apology to referee Jaime Rivano, the subject of his outburst that led to his ejection in a 63-89 loss to Ateneo in the final game of the first round.
“Last Saturday was the first time our office heard directly from coach Bo, and we appreciate his sincerity and evident humility in expressing his regret regarding the incident between him and referee Rivano,” said Ilagan.
“Coach Bo emphasized how he deeply regretted his actions toward the official and extended his apology toward the UAAP Board, organization and the entire community.”
Perasol said his meeting with the league commissioner allowed both parties to see the league from different perspectives.
“I was able to reiterate my regret over my overreaction in that particular game,” Perasol added.
Ilagan’s decision received the support of the league.
“The UAAP, through the Board of Managing Directors and Board of Trustees, maintains that it will support and respect the Office of the Commissioner about any technical concern,” UAAP executive director Rebo Saguisag said in a statement.
Saguisag noted the need for continued improvement in the area of officiating, which he said, needs the full cooperation of everyone involved, particularly the coaches, players, and officials.
The lifting of Perasol’s ban could not have come at a better time for the Fighting Maroons, who are in second spot behind Ateneo with a 5-3 record.
The Maroons, who split the two games that Perasol missed, will be back at full strength when they take on University of Santo Tomas on Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena.
Perasol said sitting out the last two games helped him understand his team better.
Despite their star-studded lineup, the Maroons have struggled through the majority of their campaign.
“In hindsight, what the suspension gave me was a chance to appreciate how we’re playing as a team as viewed in a different medium,” he told the Inquirer.
“There are a lot of aspects in our game which I couldn’t figure out until I watched live on TV. Looking forward, I believe it will only prove beneficial to our team.”
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