The UAAP hoops glory is back in Katipunan for the first time in six years after Ateneo defeated La Salle 62-51 last week.
Before anything else I would like to congratulate the Ateneo Blue Eagles for winning the UAAP championship, they truly deserved it. The entire season was full of issues regarding bad officiating, but nevertheless, Ateneo was clearly cut above the rest. Of course, it would’ve been better if my La Salle won, but you gotta give credit to where it is due, so kudos to the Ateneo Blue Eagles.
Next, I would like to talk about the issue of La Salle’s refusal to accept the 1st runner up trophy and medals. I guess I won’t blame them for refusing to head out of the dugout to accept their awards. I’m not really saying that I support their action, but I guess I kinda feel for their frustrations. Of course, the refusal to accept the awards shows a great deal of unsportsmanlike conduct, but still I wouldn’t blame them after what the UAAP went through the entire season. From their very first game, La Salle and Ateneo, and all the other universities for that matter had to endure a very questionable officiating system. And up until the championship series, La Salle continued to be hounded by bad calls. I’m not saying that Ateneo won because of the bad calls, but the foul discrepancy between the two teams was really off. La Salle was called for 29 fouls against Ateneo’s 13 fouls. Then there’s the issue of calling a technical foul on Ferdinand for taunting the crowd. I mean, come on, taunting the crowd? What’s wrong with that? I believe that trash talking up to a certain level is acceptable within the hard court, as long as players don’t belt out obscene, derogatory remarks. With that said, I don’t think Ferdinand deserved to be called for the technical foul for taunting the crowd, that situation should have been a let-go. Verbal jousting here and there is what makes basketball interesting.
But to make things clear, I still do not support La Salle’s refusal to accept the award, but I just can’t blame them and I do not take it against my team. Under the same circumstances, I also wouldn’t take it against any other team if they also refused to show up during the ceremonies.
Again, congratulations to the whole Ateneo community, you guys really deserve the UAAP crown. But I know you guys are with me when I call for a better system of officiating next season. Every team in the UAAP deserves a clean, fair and honest officiating in the seasons to come.
Props to my De La Salle Green Archers for reaching the UAAP Finals this season. Though La Salle is essentially a 2-man team (JV Casio and Rico Maierhoffer), they still managed to make it back to the championships. Casio won’t be back next year, but I trust Mairhoffer and the rest of the team, especially the younger guys, to step up next year and fight for the UAAP glory.
-ANIMO LA SALLE!