MANILA, Philippines—University of the Philippines (UP) head coach Bo Perasol apologized to his team following his ejection in the fourth quarter of their game against Ateneo de Manila University on Wednesday, which the Blue Eagles won, 87-79.
The Fighting Maroons were down by double digits, 73-62, when Bright Akhuetie attempted a tomahawk slam on Ateneo’s William Navarro. Akhuetie flubbed the dunk, and there was no whistle on Navarro on the play. A clearly incensed Perasol confronted the referee inside the court, leading to a commotion.
He was summarily tagged with a disqualifying foul and thrown out of the game, leaving UP without its head coach for the final 6:56 of the contest. The Fighting Maroons showed their spirit in cutting the deficit to as low as five, but the Blue Eagles proved to be too composed in the end game for them.
“I was emphasizing to my team, I was emphasizing composure,” a considerably calmer Perasol said after the game.
“And I had to apologize to them because I was the one who first lost it. No matter what happens, I think that I had to be accountable to them,” he added.
Perasol noted that he had to stay composed, even in the face of bad calls or the glaring free throw disparity.
“It’s all part of the game,” he said.
However, the non-call on Akhuetie simply proved to be the last straw for Perasol.
“I think it was an obvious call for me, ano,” said Perasol. “Parang sunod-sunod na eh.”
“I think that Bright got fouled in there, landing spot, and all of that. I don't know what were in their minds.
“But I just had to make sure they understand. I'm not going to stand in there and watch my team lose because they're not calling it,” the UP coach stressed.
Despite his frustrations, Perasol refused to blame the officiating or even his ejection for the loss. Instead, he acknowledged that the Fighting Maroons “lost discipline" in the end game.
“We stopped fighting probably in the last seconds, or in the last one or two minutes,” he explained. “We were in the game in the last five minutes, we were down by just five points.”
“But as far as discipline is concerned, we have lots of things to improve on,” Perasol admitted. “We have to know how to win. Offensively, defensively. We had some lapses in the end, and it cost us the game.”
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