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Saturday, July 31, 2021

Pre-season histrionics

A MONTH before the opening of the new season, the high school rivalry between the University of the Visayas Baby Lancers and Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu Magis Eagles is heating up in a pre-season tournament in Cordova--the 1st Mayor Teche Sitoy-Cho High School Basketball Tournament in the Cordova Sports Complex.

Ateneo’s Joshua Fuentebella said he was punched on the shoulder by a UV player at the time the power tripped off, with two minutes left in the third quarter and UV leading by 23 points, 59-36.

“I was under goal on the UV’s side at the time when the blackout happened. I felt a punch on my shoulder. So I immediately ran toward our bench and told my coach about what just happened. It was so dark that I could not identify who punched me. But my teammates told me that was the player who wore the No. 10 jersey who punched me,” Fuentebella told Sun.Star Cebu.

UV coach Abel Bungcaras said it didn’t happen.

“How could the player they pointed to be the culprit? He was not even on the court during the power outage. He was at the bench. But honestly nobody punched him. My players were on an isolation play in the post and he was attempting a basket... Perhaps, the action of my player who was on his way up was cut short by the sudden darkness and he hit their player on the shoulder on his way down. But definitely it was not the No. 10 player, because he was sitting at the bench at that moment,” Bungcaras said.

Cesafi deputy commissioner Danny Duran, who was supervising the tournament, told Sun.Star Cebu that he and his referees did not see a thing because it was dark.

“They (Ateneo bench) told me that their player was punched. But nobody saw it, because it was total darkness. I can’t impose sanction because nobody saw it, the referees saw nothing. I told them, I can’t do anything, nobody saw it and it would be unfair for UV if I impose sanctions based on allegations,” Duran said.

Tournament commissioner Remar Baguio will leave the matter to the discretion of Duran since the tournament is a Cesafi-sanctioned event and Duran was present during the game.

“Danny Duran is already aware of the incident. I referred it to him, this being a Cesafi-sanctioned tournament. And he was personally supervising the game,” Baguio said.

Because of the incident, SHS-AdC coach Francis Aquico decide to yield the match when the power returned, to prevent it from getting out of hand.

Aside from the punching incident, the Magis Eagles also complained of the physical game of UV. Duran, however, clarified that physicality can’t be avoided in a basketball game, and what happened last Saturday evening was not the fault of one team.

“Naa’y player nga matumba kay dangog man ang korte tungod kay ulan man. Pero okay ra man ang duwa. Wala man grabeng hitabo nga matawag nato nga hugaw kaayo like sa gi describe diha sa Facebook,” added Duran.

SHS-AdC head coach Rommel Rasmo was dismayed at how UV players acted on the court as it has happened in most of their previous events.

But Bungcaras countered that the Magis Eagles players started the physical game and his players were just standing their ground.
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