MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) - The UAAP Technical Committee on Thursday upheld the decision of Commissioner Ato Badolato to deny the protest of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers.
In a statement addressed to UST board member Gilda Ma. Paz Kamus, UAAP Secretary-Treasurer Junel Baculi said "after a careful review and deliberation, the technical committee has decided to uphold the decision of the Commissioner."
"Therefore, your protest is denied."
The Tigers had protested their 66-68 setback against the Ateneo Blue Eagles last September 15 based on two questionable decisions made by the referee in the crucial seconds.
The first was a technical foul that was not called on Ateneo head coach Norman Black for confronting the referees inside the court, and the second was a goal-tending violation called on UST's Karim Abdul with five seconds left that gave the Eagles the lead for good.
Last Monday, Badolato turned down the Tigers' protest, explaining that both decisions were "judgment calls."
"Hindi pwedeng baguhin ang judgment calls," he said.
"The Technical Committee agrees with the Commissioner that the points you have raised are both judgment calls and not subject to protest," Baculi said in his letter.
"It was pointed out during the course of the discussion that although the calls and non-calls were technical in nature, implementing them requires judgment," he added.
Baculi said UST has the option of elevating their protest to the UAAP Board within a certain number of days.
But UST head coach Pido Jarencio said they may decide not to question the Technical Committee's ruling.
"I think tinurn down naman nila, eh ano ba ang magagawa natin?" Jarencio said. "Nirerespeto ko ang decision nila, pero abangan din nila ang gagawin ko."
"I'm not against Ateneo or the UAAP Board. Ang tanong ko lang, bakit hindi nila nire-respeto ang house rules natin?... Basketball ito. Simple ito, we have house rules," he added.
Earlier this season, the UAAP Board had overturned Badolato's decision and ordered a replay of the controversial second round match-up between the National University Bulldogs and the Far Eastern University Tamaraws, which the Tams had won on a buzzer-beating lay-up by RR Garcia.
NU protested the victory, saying that Garcia's shot should not have counted, but Badolato junked their protest.
Baculi said the two situations were not comparable.
"National U, that was a call that was reviewable. This is not a reviewable call," explained Henry Atayde, La Salle's representative to the Technical Committee.