A DAVAO City sports official demanded apology letters from the Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws and De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers for engaging in a bench-clearing brawl during their game in the 2017 Kadayawan Invitational Basketball Tournament at Almendras Gym Davao City Recreation Center (DCRC) last Friday evening, August 25.
Organizer Sports Development Division of the City Mayor's Office (SDD-CMO) and Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP)-Davao stopped the game, disqualified the teams and declared a double forfeiture. Thus, remaining games of both teams set Saturday was cancelled, paving the way for the University of Sto. Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers and the Davao City All-Stars to contest the championship that was won by FEU Tamaraws last year.
UST eventually crowned itself champion after beating Davao City All-Stars, 87-76, in the titular match held at the University of Southeastern Philippines (Usep) Gym.
Sports Development Division of the City Mayor's Office (SDD-CMO) officer-in-charge Mikey Aportadera, in Davao Sportswriters Association (DSA) Forum at The Annex of SM City Davao on Thursday, August 31, said, "I am demanding the two universities to send us letters of apology coming from their presidents or athletic directors. What they did was very unsportsmanlike considering that students came to watch their idols play. We have high respect and high regard for UAAP teams sila pa gyud naghimo ingon ana (they did such act). We demand an apology letter."
Although he said FEU's camp made a verbal apology to tournament director Cholo Elegino, also a program officer of SDD-CMO, a formal apology letter addressed to Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio would be more fitting since it was an invitational league organized as part of the city's celebration of the 32nd Kadayawan Festival.
Aportadera, however, said banning FEU and DLSU in future games here will depend on the decision of the city mayor and recommendation of the SBP.
"With much deliberation with SBP, first we need to know who started everything. We are still looking at different videos posted online and were given to us for us to have a clear perspective of what really happened," he said.
It can be recalled that DLSU and FEU figured in two brawls during the game. The first brawl, which involved a few players, erupted 20 seconds left in the third canto and the game was halted but when it resumed, it had to be stopped for good after a bench-clearing fracas ensued only 13 seconds to go in the third.
SBP-Davao regional referees commissioner lawyer Francis Calatrava earlier recalled that three players each from DLSU and FEU were ejected after the first brawl. After the first inbound when game resumed, another contact after the other player retaliated ignited the free-for-all.
The City Government, according to Aportadera, had to spend P120,000 for a four-hour rental of the Usep Gym as they earlier thought that the Sunday championship and battle for third games will draw a lot of spectators that the DCRC could not accommodate.
But only few Dabawenyos watched the final showdown between UST and Davao City All-Stars since the disqualified teams DLSU and FEU, touted as the top two squads in the tournament, often attract the bigger crowd.