Excessively harsh, heavy-handed, and unjustified.
These were among the reactions of University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons fans online after the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) slapped Maroons head coach Bo Perasol with a three-game suspension after being ejected following a confrontation with referee Jaime Rivena in the September 29 UP-Ateneo tiff.
The decision, handed down by Tournament Commissioner Jensen Ilagan in a memo dated September 29, said that Perasol would serve a three-game suspension for what he referred to as “continuous flagrant acts of aggression,” a penalty that puzzled those who compared the heavy penalty with previous sanctions handed out by the UAAP and even FIBA.
Twitter user @TitoMaroon questioned the fairness of the penalty given that “FEU’s Arvin Tolentino was previously handed a 2-game suspension for HITTING UST’s Huang in S80.”
“May physical injury. Thirdy and Javi was suspended for a game for physical traction. Coach Bo barely even landed a fist on the ref yet he was handed a 3-game suspension,” decried the UP supporter.
Another Twitter user, @jedeva, compared the penalty handed to Perasol with the three-game suspension meted by FIBA to Gilas Assistant Coach Jong Uichico for punching a player on the Australian national team during the infamous Gilas-Boomers July 2018 brawl.
“Last year, FIBA suspended PHL Assistant Coach Jong Uichico for three games for punching a payer on the opposing team. UPMBT Coach Bo Perasol has been handed out the same penalty by the UAAP for ‘acts of aggression,’” pointed out Eva, one of the founding members of NowheretogobutUP.
Former Supreme Court spokesperson Theodore Te stressed on Twitter that “refs shouldn’t dictate the outcome of the game with their calls, in the same way, suspensions shouldnt dictate a team’s fate.
“Refs shouldn’t dictate the outcome of the game with their calls, in the same way, suspensions shouldnt dictate a team’s fate.”
The lawyer lamented that “a 3-game suspension at the start of the second round will cut the legs off any team.”
Another lawyer, @attyjong, argued there was no legal basis for giving Perasol a three-game suspension and that the Jensen ruling was problematic as the “continuous flagrant acts of aggression” referred to in the UAAP memo “is not a separate offense for which there is a specific imposable penalty.”
“The continuous flagrant acts of aggression referred to in the UAAP memo is not a separate offense for which there is a specific imposable penalty.”
“There was only one continuous act that merited two technicals and ejection from the game. One ejection means suspension for one game. The two more games of suspension has absolutely no basis. It can’t be left to the discretion of the board or the commissioner. That violates due process,” explained the lawyer.
According to @attyjong, “the thing with the rules on penalties is that you can only impose a specific penalty for a specific offense. Nowhere in the cited provisions is it stated that the imposable penalty may be left to the discretion of the board or the commissioner.”
Even non-UP fans weighed in. Twitter user Tony Atayde said that after the Perasol suspension, he hoped that UAAP would look “into the quality of officiating also since this is the root of the problem.”
“Also how can Tab Baldwin berate refs and intimidate them and get away with it?”