MANILA, Philippines—The game between Adamson and Ateneo in the UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball tournament has been long done, but there are still lingering effects a few days after.
After coach Nash Racela’s tirade against the officiating in the Falcons’ loss to the Blue Eagles on Sunday amid a tight Final Four race, it was coach Tab Baldwin’s turn to give his scathing take on the criticisms against the UAAP.
Without naming names, Baldwin defended the league and criticized the “shameful” acts of “a member of the UAAP family.
“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,” said Baldwin after their win over University of the East.
“I think it’s shameful. I think you all know exactly what I mean.”
Racela, who said he considers Baldwin a “good friend,” admitted he was surprised by the Ateneo coach’s remarks.
“Coach Tab is a good friend of mine. We were together before in Talk N’ Text, Gilas when we were in Spain and he was the consultant, I was under coach Tab where he coached Gilas in ’16 or ’17. We even played golf,” said Racela after his Falcons lived another day in the UAAP Final Four Race in the last game on Wednesday.
“I’m surprised that he made those statements.”
Racela has since apologized for implying that the UAAP is favoring teams to make it to the Final Four, but he refused to say sorry for voicing out his displeasure over what he taught was a crucial non-call in that game.
The veteran mentor, however, did double down and said that refereeing is indeed a tough job.
“These comments are subjective but refereeing is really hard. It’s very challenging but as coaches, we will do our part in reminding and challenging them to perform at a high level because we work, we study but besides us, it’s also the players. I’ll be happy with people who speak up if there are things that are wrong.”
The Adamson tactician ended his post-game conference with this: “I’m friends with everyone.”
Adamson has a chance to reach the Final Four on Sunday, so long as it defeats University of the East and Ateneo loses to La Salle on Saturday in a scenario that would prompt a playoff for the fourth seed.
Adamson coach Nash Racela and Didat Hanapi on living another day in the #UAAPSeason86
Posted by Inquirer Sports on Wednesday, November 15, 2023