(Excerpts of University of the Visayas Coach Delfin Pepito’s Letter to the National Basketball Training Center (NBTC))

I AM writing to respond to allegations made against me and even published through articles about instructing a UV player to hurt an Ateneo player. I would like to provide the following information to refute such allegations and what actually happened in the NBTC League.

In Game 1, Ateneo player Velasco tumbled into the floor because of his recklessness, which resulted to a cut on his chin. The referee has not called any foul since it was purely his fault.

In Game 2, during the SECOND QUARTER, an intentional foul was called on a UV player Rosete for hitting the chin of Velasco, with an open palm and not with a closed fist. A video of that was then circulated over social media and other websites by some of the Ateneo enthusiast.

Still on Game 2, during the LAST QUARTER (with 5 minutes left of the game), with balls in play. Velasco passed in front of me. As part of my strategy to divert his focus, I said the following words as though addressing a UV players: “Depensa-e si Velasco, ayaw pakupta ug bola, bantayi ang suwang” (to WATCH over his chin). I never said HURT his chin, which is contrary to what his parents insisted. Additionally, when I said these, there were no UV players near me. It was just Velasco. So it is nearly impossible for Rosete or other players to hear such “instruction.”

Please take note that the hitting of Rosete on Velasco happened in the SECOND quarter, which is way before the so-called “instruction” happened. Nevertheless, if I indeed gave such instruction, then I should have done it discreetly and not in front of the subject. Moreover, please take note that the wound on Velasco’s chin was acquired on Game 1 and not because of Rosete’s action (as what is mostly circulated and exaggerated over social media). Because of the video circulated by Ateneo enthusiasts, Rosete was attacked personally and cyber-bullied. He did not deserve those harsh comments. They never took into consideration the emotional and psychological impact it will bring to the minor. Unfortunately, he does not have his parents physically to support and comfort him like that of Velasco. And UV as an institution, was not exempted from these criticisms.

Apart from this, when I read the SunStar report that I will face sanction from NBTC for instructing a player to hurt another, I was totally surprised. I thought everything was cleared when I explained my side on the investigation conducted by Commissioners Al Solis and Romel Rasmo and even in front of Velasco’s parents that once again I NEVER instructed Rosete or any of my players to hurt Velasco on his chin. Furthermore, when Rosete was also investigated by the said Commissioners, he admitted that he did that without instruction from any of the coaching staff.

You have suspended him from the league. Honestly, I felt that such decision was excessive. Although an intentional foul was committed by him, he does not deserve a suspension. In fact, he was not even thrown out of the game when that happened. Hence, the gravity of his actions was not that substantial. But I trust that the decision based on NBTC game rules and hopefully was not influenced by any other factors outside the League’s regulations.