UE coach criticizes ‘unfair’ suspension of Precious Momowei in UAAP
University of the East coach Jack Santiago felt the suspension of Precious Momowei was unfair as it also disqualified the top rookie from winning any individual award in the UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball tournament. Santiago shared the Red Warriors appealed Momowei’s suspension right away but was turned down by the league even after UE president Dr. Zosimo M. Battad called for an emergency meeting on Wednesday morning prior to his resignation as the UAAP Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Season 86. Santiago insisted that the second unsportsmanlike foul called against Momowei this season that led to his suspension should have been just a regular foul with the 6-foot-9 big man just battling for a rebound with La Salle’s Kevin Quiambao during the second quarter of UE’s loss to La Salle on Sunday.
UE players rallied behind Momowei, who was leading the Rookie of the Year race
Noy Remogat wrote “ROTY# 21” the jersey number of his teammate on the tape on his left wrist.
“When the players learned about that during our pregame talk sa dugout, all of a sudden nakita ko na lang yung mga players that they’re putting a tape kala ko nga with Precious nakita ko rin yung pangalan ni president,” Santiago said.
Santiago remained proud of his team for putting up a fight against Ateneo before bombing out of the Final Four race with a 4-9 record.
“I’m so proud of the boys not only in the fourth quarter but the whole game. They responded well because I challenged and dared them that if you think you cannot play, just be man enough to tell me and don’t show up But all of them went out and responded well inside,” he said.
“I told the boys it’s gonna be hard for us since our next game will be on Sunday just imagine we’ll prepare for a game that we know that there’s no bearing at all but again we are players, we need to finish the tournament. Their morale is low but we have to embrace the situation right now and end UAAP Season 86 on a winning note,” he said.