MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) – The University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) has suspended referee Francisco Olivar Jr. for an "errant call" that affected the outcome of the De La Salle versus Adamson game last Wednesday.
Commissioner Chito Loyzaga slapped a three-game suspension on the referee for calling an unsportsmanlike foul on Adamson’s Gian Abrigo.
The Falcons were battling the Green Archers in a close game when Abrigo was called for an “unsportsmanlike” foul away from the ball while he was jockeying for position with La Salle’s Norbert Torres, 15.9-seconds remaining.
The call helped La Salle escape with a 70-67 win.
“Mr. Olivar is a qualified and experienced referee who officiates at both local and international games. Unfortunately, at the Adamson/La Salle game, he made an untimely decision to call a foul in the last 15 seconds of the game. This call resulted in an advantage to La Salle, which eventually won the game,” Loyzaga said in a memorandum.
He explained that refraining from calling out calls in the final two minutes of the game sometimes aid the players to decide the outcome of the match.
"One of the basic principles of the UAAP Board is to have the outcomes of all games decided by the players and not by the referees," said Loyzaga.
"Taking this within the context of the ADU-DLSU game, maintaining the momentum of play in the last two minutes, sometimes achieved by refraining from having to call fouls, would increase the chances of having the players decide the outcome of the game."
The UAAP commissioner also apologized to Adamson for the controversial call.
“As the Commissioner of the League this season, I take full responsibility of the actions made by a member of the League's Technical Unit,” he said.
“To Coach Leo Austria, the Adamson team and the Adamson community, please accept our sincerest apologies on this matter.”