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UE vs. La Salle Duel: Marred By Bad Officiating?

October 9, 2007

A classmate of mine whom I think is the number 1 supporter of the University of the East Red Warriors has mouthful to say about the Game 2 between the red-wearing cagers and the De La Salle Green Archers.

But neither the 14-0 feat, nor the determination of the school to taste another win after over two decades of championship drought was able to push the Recto-based Warriors to a winning edge in the best of three series.

The Warriors did not make it in Game 1, but luck wasn’t really on their side as they suffered another heart-breaking 73-64 in Game 2, making the Taft-based Archers’ the UAAP 70th season’s victors.

Celso Lim, my old-but-still-young-at-heart classmate in the college of law, has something to blame on the “unexpected loss” of the Warriors. Lim had mouthful to say about how some people in the officiating team did their job during that mournful day.

I think, and I’m sure of it, there’s something wrong about the officiating during the last two games [between the Warriors and the Archers,” he said.

Celso, who claimed to have worked as team manager for a local team that vied in international basketball competitions in the past, said that he sensed bad officiating attended both Game 1 and 2. He said it might be the reason why the players did not perform well,considering that they did an excellent job during the elimination.

It demoralized the players. It lessened their morale and confidence in the game,” he asserted.

Lim, I think, is not just the number 1 supporter of the Warriors, he’s also their number 1 fan. Proof of it is that he knows almost all the players of the team, and he always talks to them, especially the key players. He’ s not afraid to give his comments (which are mostly negative) to the players. It will make them more mature and realize their mistakes, he said.

I talked to the chairman of the university and even the coach of the Warriors to give them my observation about the bad officiating in the finals,” he said, referring to UE Chairman P.O. Domingo and team head coach Dindo Pumaren.

Lim was informed that the matter was already tackled by the University, so he assumed that Warriors’ team manager [and UE’s Executive Vice President] Carmelita Mateo and UE’s Sports Coordinator Brenn Perez already raised the matter in the UAAP board.

But Lim, who alleged that ‘dirty money’ was involved in the game, was also informed that the UAAP Board has no control whatsoever over league’s officiating team.

How can that be,” Lim asked. He told me that if it is not expressly written in the UAAP by-laws, the UAAP board has the natural rights over whatever things involved in the league, especially on matters affecting fair and clean competition.

Well, his wild observation [or allegation] reminds me of that word the UE crowd collectively shouted during the dying minute of Game 2’s last canto. The sea of red-and-white disdainfully shouted ‘LUTO’, and it lasted for less than 10 seconds. Luto, which means cooked in its English translation, is almost the same as dinaya (cheated).

Well, whatever it is, the game is already over. If the game was “luto” or rigged, then we should make it sure that it will never be repeated in the future. But we must remember that it would take more than mouthful of allegations or accusations to prove Lim’s “observation.”

But first let’s look at the statistics:

Game 1:

UE Red Warriors: Total number of fouls: 21; total number of errors:30.

DLSU Green Archers: Total number of fouls: 21; total number of errors: 15.

Game 2:

UE Red Warriors: Total number of fouls: 28; total number of errors:21.

DLSU Green Archers: Total number of fouls: 18; total number of errors: 11.

In my opinion, the Warriors still lack the needed experience and confidence to vie in the finals. There’s a big difference between elimination rounds and final showdown.

As what Lim said, to win the next season’s crown, the Warriors should start practicing NOW!


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