Ateneo asks UAAP to probe 'violations' of suspended players
MANILA, Philippines - The Ateneo de Manila University is asking the UAAP Board to look into a supposed violation committed by University of the East (UE) guard Ralf Olivares as well as several other suspended players over the course of the Season 76 men's basketball tournament.
In a letter addressed to UAAP President Fr. Maximino Rendon of Adamson University, Ateneo board member Ricky Palou pointed out that Olivares violated a league rule that prevents suspended players to be in the "immediate vicinity" of games while serving their suspensions.
The rule states that “a suspended athlete shall not be allowed to sit in the bench and its immediate vicinity during the period of suspension."
"A violation of the condition of the suspension shall result in the forfeiture of the game where such suspended athlete was found present."
In his letter, Palou noted that Olivares, who was serving a suspension, "was seen seated behind the UE bench" during their game last Sunday.
Aside from Olivares' case, Ateneo also asked the UAAP Board to look into the following games:
- The August 25 game between Far Eastern University and UE, wherein suspended FEU guard RR Garcia was in the immediate vicinity of the Tamaraws bench.
- The August 31 game between UE and National University, wherein suspended UE players Charles Mammie and Lord Casajeros were in the immediate vicinity of the Red Warriors bench;
- The September 1 game between Ateneo and La Salle, wherein suspended La Salle guard Thomas Torres was in the immediate vicinity of the Green Archers bench;
- And the September 4 game between UE and La Salle wherein Casajeros was in the immediate vicinity of the Red Warriors bench.
Palou said the Ateneo is requesting the UAAP Board to "conduct an investigation of this matter and that the appropriate sanctions be imposed in accordance with the UAAP 76 Rules and Regulations."
Ateneo also requested the UAAP to "look into similar violations in games of juniors and women's basketball divisions."
On Monday, UE requested the UAAP Board to investigate the presence of Ateneo head coach Bo Perasol during their game last Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena. Perasol, who was serving a one-game suspension, supposedly violated a league rule that disallows coaches from being inside the playing venue while serving their suspension.
Ateneo's request for a probe marks the latest in a series of controversies that has plagued the UAAP this season and taken attention away from what has been a very close tournament so far.
Three teams have already qualified for the Final Four - NU, FEU and La Salle - though the top two spots are still up for grabs. Ateneo and UST are contesting the last slot with their identical 7-5 records.
The UAAP Board is supposed to hold a meeting on Thursday to discuss the issues.