Tab Baldwin condemns criticisms against UAAP and officiating as ‘shameful’
MANILA, Philippines — Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin on Wednesday defended the UAAP and the officiating amid criticisms. Baldwin said the negative comments against the league and the referees were “shameful” and that he felt embarrassed for “some of the people in our family of this UAAP.”
“And I think there was a lot of nonsense in the media and being spoken from, other people in the UAAP coming into this game. And I think it certainly affected and distracted the referees, I really felt for the refs today, I think they were under an inordinate amount of pressure. And I think they did a really good job under that pressure,” Baldwin said. “Nonetheless, that’s not what we have referees in the game of basketball for to put them under that kind of pressure that they were put under today.”
“I know that the UAAP doesn’t need me to speak for it, but I’m going to anyway, on behalf of the UAAP, I am embarrassed for some of the people in our family of this UAAP, exerting the kind of pressure that they did on the referees and on the commissioner’s office. I think it’s shameful. I think you all know exactly what I mean,” said Baldwin.
Baldwin did not mention any names but his rant that overshadowed Ateneo’s win over University of the East came on the heels of Adamson coach Nash Racela expressing his displeasure over the foul and free throw disparity in the fourth quarter of the Falcons’ 62-58 loss to the Blue Eagles on Sunday.
The league on Tuesday said Racela, who avoided suspension, reached out and apologized for implying that the UAAP is favoring Ateneo to make the Final Four.
In a letter to the UAAP, Racela said that he was sorry for singling out the UAAP in the post-game interview.
Racela, however, remained defiant when it came to what he deemed was a game-changing missed call on Joseph Obasa’s block against Cedrick Manzano when “there was a clear hit on the arm of Manzano and it was clear that Obasa never hit the ball.”
In a separate incident, UE coach Jack Santiago felt that Precious Momowei’s suspension that disqualified him from potentially winning any individual award was “unfair.” Before the suspension, Momowei was the frontrunner to win Rookie of the Year.
Baldwin hopes to move forward from the issues that surrounded the league for the past few days.
“And I think we need to put it behind us and move forward as quickly as possible and get back to doing what is right for the game of basketball,” he said. “This game has given every single one of us in the sport way, way more than we have given back to it. And I think it is shameful when people bring the game into disrepute and I’ll leave it at that.”