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After UAAP review, Abanto’s hit on Navarro uprgraded to unsportsmanlike foul

by Niel Victor Masoy, October 22, 2019 10:25pm

The University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) slapped University of the East (UE) forward Nick Abanto with an unsportsmanlike foul for hitting Ateneo De Manila University (ADMU) forward Will Navaro during the Red Warriors-Blue Eagles game Sunday at the Ynares Center.

This, after league basketball commissioner Jensen Ilagan had a thorough review of the incident which saw the referees didn’t blow their whistles when Abanto struck Navarro’s left jaw with his left forearm in a rebounding battle with 6:33 left in the first quarter.

Abanto’s hit left Navarro down for the count, got carried off the court, did not return in the contest, and was suspected to have a concussion because of what happened to him.

"Upon multiple reviews of the incident, we saw that there was intent by Mr. Abanto to hit Mr. Navarro that causing him to fall and eventually be carried off the playing court," said Ilagan.

"The action was unprovoked and his intention to hurt was apparent. Therefore, an unsportsmanlike foul shall be assessed against him."

Ilagan explained his decision to impose an unsportsmanlike foul on Abanto despite a non-call by the game officials by citing article 4.3 of the UAAP Basketball Rules which states:

"The Commissioner has the power to impose additional penalties. This power may be exercised to non-calls but involve abhorrent acts in nature, including but not limited to, flagrant unsportsmanlike fouls, and conduct that involves dangerous and dirty tactics and supported by the official video."

With such incident, Ilagan urges all the players to practice sportsmanship even in the heat of the battle in this UAAP season 82 Men’s basketball tournament.

“We call on all student-athletes to always keep in mind the safety and welfare not just of their teammates but also their opponents. Though the spirit of sports is competition, the ultimate goal is to build comradery among everyone," stressed Ilagan.

With UAAP imposing Abanto an unsportsmanlike foul and him also incurring another one with 2:03 left in the UE-Ateneo game, the 6-foot-4 forward notched a one-game suspension based on league rules.

That means Abanto won’t be around when the Red Warriors face the Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws on Sunday, October 27, also at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.

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