MANILA, Philippines -- University of the Philippines (UP) head coach Bo Perasol apologized for his shocking outburst that led to his ejection from the Fighting Maroons' game against Ateneo de Manila University on Sunday afternoon.
The two squads were playing in the final first round game of UAAP Season 82, in what was a rematch of last season's championship series. The Blue Eagles had taken a slim 35-31 lead at the half, before starting to pull away, 39-31, to open the third frame.
But a third foul called on Bright Akhuetie, followed by a technical foul on the UP center, led to three free throws for Thirdy Ravena that made it a 10-point game. Perasol lost his cool shortly after, following a perceived non-call on Ange Kouame on a Jerson Prado lay-up attempt.
Perasol charged at referee Jaime Rivano, making contact with the official and even taking a fighting stance. He had to be held back by his players and coaching staff, and was immediately slapped with two technical fouls resulting in his ejection from the game.
"I really have to apologize, first for my team, for losing it. It really doesn't matter what happens on the court, but I have to think about my composure, because that is what I preach, and I was the one who lost it," Perasol said after the game.
Ravena would make two free throws off Perasol's technicals, and the bonus possession resulted in a three-pointer for Adrian Wong. Ateneo cruised to an 89-63 triumph, completing a 7-0 sweep of the first round.
"That was a lesson for us, and I don't think that was who we are. But it was mostly because of what I did. As their leader, as their head, I need to be better," said Perasol.
"Again, as I said, it doesn't take away from the fact that there will be missed calls, or bad calls, that it happens. But I cannot lose myself, especially in a game as big as that."
Perasol explained that the fouls called on Akhuetie frustrated him, particularly after the reigning Most Valuable Player was given a technical foul with 8 minutes to play.
"When the official called the third foul on Bright, and Bright was already at the other baseline, and I really thought that the official followed him there," he explained.
According to Perasol, he told the referee that he was going to "ruin the competition, a beautiful competition at that, by making personal calls."
"When I asked him, he said I felt that I was being nababastos daw siya. Why would somebody say that and ruin the whole thing? It's not personal," he added. "You cannot provoke a player and follow him to the end of the baseline. Bright was already at the other end of the baseline, gave him a technical foul, after his third foul."
For Perasol, the official's decision was "irrational."
"You should be partners," he stressed. "Players, coaches, and the officials, in maintaining the beauty of the game."
Perasol stands to serve at least a one-game suspension for his ejection, but the coach said he will appeal.
"If it's going to be that way, I'm quite sure that my team is going to take that," he said.
The Fighting Maroons open the second round against Far Eastern University on Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.
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