One trait that we Filipinos have in common is our knack to blame someone orsomething as the culprit so that we can escape whatever deed we did wrong. bviously we Filipinos are very emotional when it comes to basketball moreso if we support a team in the UAAP. First things first, I really believe that NABRO does not deserve the rep that their refs have. It is always at the back of the minds of every UAAP spectator that NABRO is the worst group of referees. Well let’s say if that’s true then who do we replace them with? Our NAASCU referees are far worse on their best day against a NABRO ref on his worst. Let’s just wait for our hosts next year to figure it out. Remember, we spectators are just spectators and are not in front of the players when they commit fouls, or such. I believe that the competency of these refs have improved and hopefully improve more in the future.
DLSU Coach Franz Pumaren said that the 2008 Finals had the worst officiating that he has ever seen. For once I might agree but then again, we all know that it was just an excuse so that his team and school can blame another entity for robbing them of the championship and not themselves. DLSU came out of the finals a different team, in both games the Archers employed a thump and bump system that the referees I believe were very lenient with. In game 1 alone, they only called fouls which made the Eagles lose their balance or some very obvious ones. Game 2 was something different. Pumaren argued a controversial call on Rico Fingerhofer which threw him out of the game. That’s two technical fouls on him of the same nature. Two technical fouls??? Remember his first technical foul was because he was taunting Nonoy Baclao, so why blame the second when he was guilty of having a first technical. If Rico was as cool and composed as JV Casio and kept his mind on his game rather than taunt every Eagle on court then I believe that he could have not been whistled for those two T’s. I really think that the Archers came out with so much angst in them that taunting Rabah Al-Husaini, Eric Salamat, Nonoy Baclao and Ryan Buenafe was a part of their game plan. Their thump and bump play and fired them up but they were not men enough to face the consequences of their actions since they will always have the referees to blame.
Lastly, in Game 1 Chris Tiu was called for two quick fouls that got him out of the game early and he never got his game going and just got two points. Well, instead of sulking the Blue Eagles found other ways to score and win. In game 2 Rabah was called for two fouls in the fist two minutes of the game and resurfaced in the third quarter. Ryan Buenafe was bumped and taunted by Bader Malabes and his reaction merited a technical foul. This one happened right in front of me and I believe Bader succeeded with his plan of getting the ire of Ryan. Although Norman argued these calls he did not let the officiating get into him. DLSU had the GOLDEN chance to take advantage of that but they failed to capitalize on it. When Rabah went to the bench the Eagles raised their level of play which paved the way for shock troopers like Mike Baldos and Jobe Nkemakolam to combine for twelve points between as the Eagles ended the half with a 15 point lead. When Rico and subsequently JV went out the Archers scored only four points in the fourth quarter. James Mangahas who was suppose to be their third option was afraid to take the shot with Nonoy Baclao in front of him, PJ Barua just threw the ball whenever he got it, Bader Malabes just followed Barua's example and Simon Atkins became an offensive liability. On the other hand, PJ Walsham had a good best Carlo Sharma imitation and scored the only four points of DLSU in the 4th Quarter. A lot of Coaches said that Basketball is a game of reaction and adjustment, we always have to adjust to what the other team is doing and eventually to how the referees call the game. Unfortunately, we Filipinos have always someone to blame when things don’t go our way, fortunately that is not the Ateneo way! To make matters worse, a boycott of the awarding just shows how classy one team can be. As Filipinos we all have our priorities, but to some school comes first, then country and the example that they showed will definitely be justified by their community and I don’t blame them for that.
For more on this just read these articles from veteran sports writers of the Manila Bulletin:
I changed the link to this multiply journal entry by my friend Jol Espiritu-Cruel