MANILA -- University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) basketball commissioner Jensen Ilagan on Tuesday handed University of the East's Nick Abanto a one-game suspension for his hit on Ateneo's Will Navarro during their game at the Ynares Center in Antipolo on Sunday.
At the 6:33 mark of the very first quarter of the match, Abanto swung his left arm to Navarro during a rebounding sequence that eventually put the latter on concussion protocol.
Curiously, no foul was called.
However, after a review of the play, Ilagan decided that Abanto should be slapped with an unsportsmanlike foul.
"Upon multiple reviews of the incident, we saw that there was intent by Mr. Abanto to hit Mr. Navarro that caus(ed) 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,” he added.
Abanto incurred an unsportsmanlike foul later in the first quarter, and with Ilagan upgrading Abanto's non-call to an unsportsmanlike foul, the one-game ban will be enforced.
Abanto will serve his suspension next Sunday when the Red Warriors battle the Far Eastern University Tamaraws.
Ilagan called on all student-athletes of the country’s premier collegiate league “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 camaraderie among everyone,” he added.