UAAP finds no evidence of referee bias in La Salle-Adamson game

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The UAAP completed its review of the controversial game between La Salle and Adamson and found no evidence of biased officiating. Josh Albelda, ABS-CBN Sports

MANILA, Philippines – The UAAP on Tuesday confirmed that it has completed a “judicious review” of the controversial Final Four game between De La Salle University and Adamson University, following a complaint lodged by the latter.

The Green Archers hacked out an 82-75 victory over the Soaring Falcons in that game to march to the Season 80 Finals, but at the end of the contest, most of the attention was on the free throw and foul discrepancy between the two squads.

In its complaint filed November 20, Adamson noted that the Falcons were called for 33 fouls against only 12 on La Salle, and that the Green Archers were awarded 39 free throws, while they only received five trips to the line.

While Adamson stopped short of asking for a “re-play” of the game, it did ask for a “judicious review” from league commissioner and executive director Rebo Saguisag.

In a letter to Fr. Aldrin Suan, Adamson’s representative to the board of managing directors, Saguisag explained the foul discrepancy cannot be taken at face value.

“It is imperative to focus on whether or not the non-calls were actually incorrect, since the disparity in non-calls could be an indication of how the teams played,” said Saguisag.

With this in mind, Saguisag revealed there were indeed a number of incorrect calls.

“Particularly, there were 10 incorrect non-calls on fouls committed by DLSU. However, there were seven incorrect non-calls on fouls committed by AdU as well,” Saguisag said in a letter provided to ABS-CBN News.

Saguisag said that upon review, they “conclude that while there were errors in officiating, the evidence at hand is insufficient to prove bias or partiality.”

He added that the league does not tolerate or condone any act that can compromise the sport, but at the same time, “bias or partiality on the part of the officials cannot be presumed.” 

“The Office (of the Commissioner) cannot infer bias or partiality on the basis of errors in judgment. These must be proved with clear and convincing evidence – which, upon meticulous review of the game, are absent in this case,” he stressed.

Nevertheless, all three officials who worked the Adamson-La Salle game have already been “heavily reprimanded, with warning of stiffer penalties should evidence of bad faith or malice surface.” This was on top of their preventive suspension almost immediately after the game.

All three referees were also removed from the pool of officials who are working on the on-going best-of-three finals between La Salle and the Ateneo de Manila University. 

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



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