Well that was quick.
UAAP referee Amado Soriano, who was suspended by Commissioner Andy Jao for “erratic” calls during the Ateneo-La Salle match held last July 16, was apparently reinstated, as he worked the July 30 game between the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers and the Far Eastern University Tamaraws.
Soriano supposedly wasn’t expected back until the second round. An earlier InterAKTV report by Sid Manalo said that Antonio would be “relegated to the juniors and women’s divisions,” and should he show improvement there, he “could be recalled for the big games in the second round of eliminations.”
A similar report by Olmin Leyba in the Philippine Star, meanwhile, quoted Jao: “I still don’t have the official action but I plan to suspend Soriano until the end of the first round and [we'll] evaluate after that.”
Soriano reportedly made questionable foul calls on Ateneo Blue Eagles Kiefer Ravena and Juami Tiongson in the fourth quarter of the game against La Salle. The defending champions entered the quarter with a 62-49 advantage but saw their lead shrink to as little as five points, 75-70, with just over a minute left to play.
In that span of time, Ateneo was called for three offensive fouls, while La Salle shot ten free throws, before veteran point guard Emman Monfort clinched the game for the Eagles. Ateneo wound up winning 81-72.
But when we asked Commissioner Jao about Soriano’s quick return to refereeing after today’s game between the National University Bulldogs and the Adamson Falcons, Jao said: “I only suspended him for three days. Actually it’s like almost four days because the very next day he was not included because I did not have time to review [the calls] because it was a Saturday game. So I reviewed Monday, Tuesday (July 18 and 19), so he started [his suspension] Thursday, Saturday, Sunday (July 21, 23 and 24) before he was reinstated.”
When told that various media outlets had him saying that Soriano was suspended for one whole round, Jao vehemently denied saying that, “I think I was never quoted, so that’s a mistake. You cannot start with a premise that’s wrong.”
“Three playing games, eventually that was my decision.”
Jao also clarified that Soriano was suspended completely during those three days, not being included in the pool of referees for Juniors and Womens games.
In Season 74 of the UAAP, three referees are chosen from a pool of five for each given game. Host school Ateneo de Manila University selected BRASCU, the Basketball Referees Association for Schools, Colleges and Universities, as the organization from which referees would be drawn.
Those referees are divided into three tiers: Class A, B and C, with referees for Men’s Seniors Games coming from Class A and B referees.
“That does not necessarily mean that you’re classified, you’re good already,” explained Jao. “I would think that we have to find the selection [process] that we really… trust, trust fully to do a good game, especially in crucial games. Not because it’s glaring, but because it can be magnified.”
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