MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATED) The University of the Sto. Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers will appeal the decision made by UAAP Commissioner Ato Badolato to turn down their protest regarding their loss to the Ateneo Blue Eagles last Saturday.
Earlier Monday, Badolato turned down the Tigers' protest, saying it was based on judgment calls.
"Hindi pwedeng baguhin ang judgment calls," he said.
UST head coach Pido Jarencio told ABS-CBNnews.com that they are ready to elevate their protest all the way to the UAAP Board.
"Siyempre, automatic i-aakyat doon 'yun," he said. "For sure, itutuloy 'yan. One hundred percent naman ang backing sa akin ng office."
"Yung UAAP Board na ang bahala doon, kung ano ang desisyon nila," he said.
Jarencio revealed that he has not yet read Badolato’s response to the Tigers' complaint.
The Tigers have three days to file a protest to the UAAP Technical Committee and can opt to go all the way to the UAAP Board.
Earlier this season, the UAAP Board ruled in favor of a replay of the second-round encounter between Far Eastern University (FEU) and National University (NU), overturning the decision of Badolato who had junked the Bulldogs' protest.
That protest came after the Tamaraws won their game on a buzzer beating lay-up, which NU said should not have counted.
On Sunday, UST put their 66-68 setback to Ateneo under protest, citing two questionable decisions made by the referees in the final seconds of the game.
Jarencio said the referees should have called a technical foul on Ateneo coach Norman Black for confronting the game officials with seven seconds to go in the contest.
"Masyadong obvious 'yung ginawa sa kanila, na hindi tinawagan ng technical. Bakit? Takot ba sila kay Norman Black?" he asked.
Jarencio pointed out that it was in the UAAP rules that a coach should be assessed a technical foul is he crosses the line and enters the playing court.
UST also protested the goal-tending violation called on Karim Abdul with five seconds to go on a Ryan Buenafe shot attempt, which allowed the Blue Eagles to go ahead for good.
Jarencio said he understood that the goal-tending violation was a judgment call, but was firm on his stand that Black should have been called for a technical foul.
"Ang tanong ko sa'yo, anong itatawag kung sinugod ng coach ang referee? Ganoon lang ka-simple 'yun. Galing sila sa bench, pinuntahan nila sa kabilang court," Jarencio said.
"Automatic technical 'yan, hindi na pinag-uusapan 'yun," he added.
Meanwhile, Jarencio assured the UST supporters that the Tigers are not being distracted by the off-court issues.
"Walang iniintindi ang mga 'yun. 'Yung mga players, laro lang. Kami ang nag-decide na mag-protest. Walang silang iniisip na kung ano mang desisyon," he said.
The Tigers' loss to Ateneo was crucial, as it dropped their record to 9-4, tied with the FEU Tamaraws for a share of second place. UST is aiming to earn a twice-to-beat advantage going into the Final Four.
The Tigers will play their last game of the elimination round on Thursday against the University of the East Red Warriors.