“What should apply to Juan should apply to all.”

This, according to nowheretogobutUP Foundation (ntgbUP) Chairman Atty. Agaton Uvero, “should be the mantra of referees officiating the finals.”

“Whether the refs call it tight or allow the boys to be physical during the games, the key is consistency; the standard that they apply to the players in maroon should apply to the boys in blue,” said Uvero, who said that the UP’s video review and analytics team had noted inconsistencies in the calls made during the UP Fighting Maroons’ two final four games against Adamson.

Whether the refs call it tight or allow the boys to be physical during the games, the key is consistency.

Working in conjunction with the veteran referees tapped as consultants to review the officiating of the team’s games, the analytics team supervised by Engineer Hyatt Basman said that the consultants had observed discrepancies in fouls called on illegal screens, as well as the application of the “Principle of Verticality,” among others.

According to FIBA rules, the Principle of Verticality gives each player the right “to occupy any position on the playing court not already occupied by an opponent. This principle protects the space on the floor which he occupies and the space above him when he jumps vertically within that space.”

This means that when a defending player jumps straight up with his arms stretched straight up, a foul should not be called against the defender if the offensive player drives into him.

“The more judgment involved in calling a foul, the greater the likelihood of inconsistencies in those kinds of calls. That’s because you have three different people on the floor who may all know the rules and may see the same acts, but have three different interpretations of what they just witnessed,” said the UP alumnus.

The more judgment involved in calling a foul, the greater the likelihood of inconsistencies in those kinds of calls.

As a result, Basman explained, players are confused about what acts are deemed legal and what are not, and perceptions about “favoritism” on the court are fueled.

“You cannot blame viewers if they feel that some players are ‘protected’ by the refs, especially when they see our players being manhandled and no fouls are called, while whistles are immediately heard when our players touch their opponents,” explained Basman.

Statistics released by the UAAP showed that in two games against the Falcons, the Maroons were called for a total of 57 fouls, 19 fouls more than the 38 fouls tallied by Adamson.

As a result, UP only had 45 free throw attempts, as opposed to the 72 free throw attempts for the Falcons.

Uvero reiterated that this year’s UAAP men’s basketball championship “should be decided by the players on the court, not the officials on the sidelines.”

“The ideal on the basketball court is the same ideal in a court of law. Dapat patas ang laban; the ones applying the rules should be fair,” stressed the lawyer.

“This game will have passionate players on the court and passionate fans in the stands. If officiated fairly, we believe that no one will go home bitter, regardless of the outcome.”

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