Adamson University head coach Leo Austria suffered yet another wound in his stellar coaching career.
This time, it came in at the hands of De La Salle University in a crucial elimination stage game of UAAP Season 76, which, in his view was marred by a “bad judgment call” by referee Francisco Olivar who called a controversial unsportsmanlike foul on Gian Abrigo at the 16-second mark of the game, when Adamson was just down by two at 65-67.
“Kung talagang may foul yun, edi tawagin nya, but they were just jockeying for position,” Austria explained, maintaining that Norbert Torres, who was defended by Abrigo, did not receive any contact from his ward that constituted a foul.
“That kind of call should not be made,” he lamented. “I didn’t know what triggered the referee to call that. He should have let the players play. Sayang yung laro. Sayang yung pinaghirapan naming habulin.”
When asked if he will file a protest to the UAAP technical committee, Austria explained that a protest would prosper if there was an “error on technicalities” but not if it involves a “judgment call” by the referees.
“La Salle deserves this win, but for the beauty of the game, calls like that should be avoided,” he said.
“Parehas kaming hindi nananakit. We just want to show how basketball is played,” he added.
Following the game, basketball commissioner Chito Loyzaga pointed out the UAAP basketball “house rule” stating that “all fouls committed during dead ball situations and/or when the game clock is stopped will be assessed as unsportsmanlike foul/s only in the last two minutes.”
When asked if it was the right call, the commissioner did not relay a definite answer to the query. (With reports from Diego de la Paz)