MANILA, Philippines - The NCAA management committee last night upheld the recommendation of commissioner Joe Lipa demanding a public apology from Letran coach Louie Alas for his "slit throat" gesture against game officials in Saturday's Game 2 at the MOA Arena or face suspension.
Alas, who faced the Mancom yesterday, readily agreed and said he's "sorry for his actuations" and stressed he "meant no disrespect"to Lipa, referee supervisor Romy Guevarra and the rest of game officials when he did it.
"After due deliberations, has decided to uphold the recommendation of Comm. Joe Lipa, which is for him to issue a public apology for questioning the integrity of officials, of the office of commissioner, of the NCAA as a league in their choice of officiating group through gesture seen by thousands of fans at the playing venue. Failure to do so will merit one-game suspension," the NCAA said in a statement read by Dax Castellano of St. Benilde, Mancom vice chairman.
He said Alas has until Friday morning, or hours before the deciding Game 3 set at 1 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum to comply.
"I'm very sorry for my actuation. Tinawag lang yun ng pagkakataon (The situation forced me to do it). I'm just doing my job, I'm always for the welfare of my team," Alas told reporters after emerging from the meeting with the Mancom.
"I didn't mean to disrespect them, dala lang ng emosyon yun (Emotion just overcame me that time)," Alas added.
Castellano said Alas may make his apology via print media or TV interview and then the league will deliberate on his statement and make a decision from there.
The Letran coach made the uncalled for gesture in the third quarter of Game 2, which the Knights won, 64-55, to force the rubber match. Near the end of the said game, Gueverra also made an obscene sign towards the Letran bench.
Gueverra is also in hot water but wasn't able to face the Mancom in its three-and-a-half hour meeting. He is summoned to another meeting today.
"In exercising due process, we are deferring any decision until we hear the side of Mr. Guevarra," the league said.
Meanwhile, the Knights tried not to get affected by their coach's issue when they resumed practice yesterday.
"Hindi namin pinag-usapan tungkol dito. Regular practice lang (We didn't talk about it, just had a regular practice)," said Alas, who admitted that his wards were a "bit sluggish" after taking a day off following Saturday’s series-tying win.