MANILA, Philippines – The UAAP announced on Tuesday that University of the East's (UE) Nick Abanto will be suspended for one game.
This, after a review of his act against Ateneo de Manila University's Will Navarro in the first quarter of their UAAP Season 82 game last Sunday at the Ynares Center.
With 6:33 left in the first quarter, Abanto swung his left arm towards Navarro's head during a rebounding battle, causing the Ateneo forward to fall to the floor.
No foul was called at the time, but UAAP basketball commissioner Jensen Ilagan has upgraded the act from a non-call to an unsportsmanlike foul.
Abanto was called for another unsportsmanlike foul with 2:03 left, this time after tangling with Ateneo's reserve center, Geo Chiu.
Abanto will thus be suspended for UE's game against Far Eastern University on Sunday, October 27.
"Upon multiple reviews of the incident, we saw that there was intent by Mr. Abanto to hit Mr. Navarro that causing him to fall and eventually be carried off the playing court," said Ilagan.
"The action was unprovoked and his intention to hurt was apparent. Therefore, an unsportsmanlike foul shall be assessed against him."
According to article 4.3 of the UAAP Basketball Rules, "The Commissioner has the power to impose additional penalties. This power may be exercised to non-calls but involve abhorrent acts in nature including, but not limited to, flagrant unsportsmanlike fouls, and conduct that involves dangerous and dirty tactics and supported by the official video."
With this, Ilagan calls on all the student-athletes to be mindful of their actions both on and off the court.
"We call on all student-athletes to always keep in mind the safety and welfare not just of their teammates but also their opponents. Though the spirit of sports is competition, the ultimate goal is to build comradery among everyone," Ilagan stressed.
Abanto finished with 6 points, 2 rebounds, and an assist in a huge 84-50 loss to the Blue Eagles. The result dropped to 3-9, eliminating them from the Final 4 race.
Abanto is currently averaging 4.2 points and 4.7 rebounds in nearly 20 minutes per game for UE this year.
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