The second round of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Men’s Basketball Seniors Division is already underway. We have seen some ejections and ensuing game suspensions involving notable players.
Ateneo de Manila University’s Thirdy Ravena was first called for an unsportsmanlike foul against Richard Escoto of the Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws in a game that also saw Ravena fouling out. FEU eventually won the game, giving the Ateneo Blue Eagles only its second loss. Thirdy later said that he did not even see Escoto, and was surprised when contact had already happened.
Last October 14, however, Ravena was called for an unsportsmanlike foul for the second time, against the University of the Philippines’ Paul Desiderio. Ravena was spotted throwing a closed fist against the UP Fighting Maroons’ shooter.
Another player who has been called for unsportsmanlike fouls—twice—is FEU’s Arvin Tolentino. In the match against Adamson University last October 7, Tolentino was playing well, converting on high-percentage shots and shaking his head afterward, signaling that he was unstoppable. Then a loose ball situation happened, with Tolentino just managing to hit Sean Manganti above the chest. Suddenly he was gone from the game. Tolentino would be called for a similar foul against Zach Huang of University of Santo Tomas.
The double black-eye penalty from an unsportsmanlike foul
The problem with such fouls called on a standout player—and both Ravena and Tolentino are effective players—is not just the ejected player hurting his team’s chances of winning that game. The player is also suspended in the succeeding game, so it’s a double black-eye.
Players must abide by the UAAP rules, however, and suffer the consequences of a foul deemed unsportsmanlike even when there are claims of accidental contact. Under the same rules, players who get suspended are already disqualified from receiving any individual awards.
Which player is ever really dirty?
National Basketball Association Hall-of-Famer John Stockton was once deemed one of the dirtiest players ever. Despite the beauty of watching the pick-and-roll with Karl Malone, viewers can see how Stockton often deliberately entangled himself with players of the opposing teams. It wasn’t Stockton who would be called for the foul but the opponent.
Sometimes the opponent would even get called for a technical foul. Whether it was a dirty or smart play, Stockton nearly always benefited from the referee’s call.
In the UAAP, we have not yet seen a player who can irritate opposing players enough for a flagrant foul to be blatantly committed. Maybe unsportsmanlike does mean accidental sometimes. Basketball is a contact sport after all.
Featured image from MB Sports Online.