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Referee suspended after questionable call in La Salle-Adamson tiff

By Paolo Mariano Posted Jul 26th 2013

The UAAP meted a three-game suspension to referee Francisco Olivar for his crucial call late in the game between Adamson and La Salle last Wednesday.

It was referee Francisco Olivar’s turn to be called for an infraction as he was meted a three-game suspension by the UAAP for his controversial unsportsmanlike foul call late in the game between Adamson University and De La Salle University last Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

According to the official memorandum sent by league commissioner Chito Loyzaga, Olivar’s crucial decision shifted the balance of the tightly contested game in favor of La Salle.

“Unfortunately, at the Adamson/De La Salle game, he made an untimely decision to call a foul in the last 15 seconds of the game. The call resulted in an advantage to La Salle, which eventually won the game,” said Loyzaga.

With 15 seconds left in the game and the Green Archers leading by only two points, 67-65, Olivar whistled Soaring Falcons forward Gian Abrigo for an off-the-ball foul, which allowed Norbert Torres to sink two free throws and retained ball possession to La Salle, which basically put the game out of reach.

Loyzaga’s memo echoed Adamson head coach Leo Austria’s post-game comments that the player should be the ones deciding the outcome of the match, not the officials.

“One of the basic principles of the UAAP Board is to have the outcomes of all games decided by the players and not by the referees. Taking this within the context of the ADU-DLSU game, maintaining the momentum of play in the last two minutes, sometimes achieved by refraining from having to call fouls, would increase the chances of having the players decide the outcome of the game,” said Loyzaga.

He, however, stated that Olivar is a “qualified and experienced referee, who officiates both local and international games.”

The commissioner also extended his apologies to Austria, the Soaring Falcons, and the Adamson community.

This is the first time this season that a referee has been suspended due to poor performance.

Last year, four officials from two separate incidents were given the axe by then-commissioner Ato Badolato.