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UAAP commissioner clarifies calls in UST-Adamson game

UST, led by Sai Larosa and Grace Irebu, progressed to the next phase of the UAAP Season 81 women's stepladder semifinals. Handout photo

MANILA, Philippines – UAAP commissioner Junel Baculi on Sunday clarified some of the calls made during the women's stepladder semifinal game between Adamson University and University of Santo Tomas (UST), after UST head coach Haydee Ong asked for better officiating following the contest.

UST won the game, 78-69, to advance to the next phase of the UAAP Season 81 semifinals against Far Eastern University (FEU). But Ong was displeased with several calls, particularly the ejection of Ruby Portillo early in the fourth quarter.

"Yeah, we want to appeal on Portillo's disqualifying foul. Hopefully the Commissioner's Office will grant that," Ong said.

"I think the referee should also, the officiating should also adjust. Bakit sa men's, they let the players play, 'pag sa babae, it's quite manipis," she also said. "They're not letting the players play. So 'yun lang sana ang request namin."

"I hope we have better officiating (in the game against FEU)."

Baculi told ABS-CBN News that Portillo's ejection came not because of a disqualifying foul, as initially announced by the arena barker, but because of a combination of a technical foul and an unsportsmanlike foul.

"Sa rules natin, that's automatic ejection from the game," he said, further explaining that Portillo was called for an unsportsmanlike foul because she prevented Adamson's Nathalie Prado who had a clear path to the basket.

"Tinatawagan ng unsportsmanlike 'yan," he said. "It's a combination of a technical and unsportsmanlike, leading to ejection from the game, based on the rules. We're all basing our judgment on the rules, according to FIBA." 

Though not too pleased with the comments made by Ong, Baculi confirmed that he will indeed review the UST-Adamson game – along with the juniors games and the Final 4 game between Ateneo and Far Eastern University that took place on Sunday as well.

"This is playoff time, so I understand," he said. "But let's put the order into our league."

"Let's see what action (we can take). I will confer with my deputies and tingnan namin kung ano ang action namin towards that," he added.

But Baculi stressed that he and the game officials are only following the rules set by FIBA.

"We're following FIBA so why castigate me or complain against me when FIBA is the one promulgating those rules, not me. We're just following it," he said.

UST plays again on Wednesday, against the FEU Lady Tamaraws who own a twice-to-beat advantage. Already waiting in the best-of-3 women's finals are the defending champion National University Lady Bulldogs.

For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.

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