The reason behind the UAAP rescheduling La Salle vs. Ateneo

Naveen Ganglani
The reason behind the UAAP rescheduling La Salle vs. Ateneo
The surprising decision made by the UAAP to reschedule the second round matchup between the De La Salle Green Archers and Ateneo Blue Eagleswas due to league by-laws

MANILA, Philippines – The surprising decision made by the UAAP on Thursday, August 14, to reschedule the second round matchup between the De La Salle Green Archers and Ateneo Blue Eagles was done to follow the bylaws of the league – with some help from another UAAP school. 

The match date set for the Ateneo vs. La Salle match in the original second round schedule was on August 23, Saturday, at the Mall of Asia Arena. But instead, both teams will face each other this Sunday, August 17, at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum. 

The Blue Eagles, 6-1, are ranked first in the team standings, while the Green Archers, who are tied with FEU and NU at 5-2, rank third behind the Tamaraws due to the UAAP’s quotient system. 

According to the UAAP bylaws, the teams that finished in first and third place in the first round of the men’s basketball tournament are supposed to face each other first when the second round opens, which is the same case for the number two and four seeds. 

However, there was a conflict in terms of arena availability. 

The UAAP has an “unwritten agreement,” according to a source, with both the Smart-Araneta Coliseum and Mall of Asia Arena to hold each one of the two elimination round matchups between ADMU and DLSU at each arena throughout the season. 

With the first round matchup between the two rival schools in July having taken place at Araneta, the league had to schedule their next game at MOA Arena, which is unavailable when the UAAP’s second round opens this weekend. 

In order to accommodate their agreement with the Mall of Asia Arena, the collegiate basketball league neglected their bylaws and pushed the DLSU-ADMU match to the 23rd, and in turn scheduled UST, 3-4, as Ateneo’s first opponent in the second round instead on Saturday, August 16, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. 

La Salle, meanwhile, was scheduled to face UP, 1-6, first instead on the same day. 

According to a source close to the UAAP board, UST was unhappy with the decision and requested the league to alter the schedule by basing it on the bylaws of the league. 

The Growling Tigers are reeling from a three-game losing streak, as their starting center and MVP candidate, Karim Abdul, recovers from a viral infection that kept him sidelined in his team’s loss to the UE Red Warriors on Wednesday, August 13.

The UAAP, which had already released their initial second round schedule to the press, then reverted to placing the ADMU-DLSU contest on the 16th at Araneta, breaking the unwritten agreement with the MOA Arena in the process. 

“Galit na galit (They were really angry),” the source said when asked how the heads of the Mall of Asia Arena took the news. 

When reached for comment, a representative from the arena told Rappler via telephone that “Tinatangap lang namin yung sinasabi nag UAAP.” (We just accept what the UAAP tells us.) 

After hearing of the sudden change in plans on Thursday, both La Salle and Ateneo were baffled, as they had prepared the past days for different opponents. 

But both were even more concerned about the distribution of tickets, considering the limited two-day gap between the change in schedule and game itself would have made the procedure disorganized due to high demand.

“We just didn’t want to play on Saturday (August 16) against Ateneo, [because] we weren’t given enough time to prepare for it (selling of tickets),” a source close to La Salle mentioned in an exclusive interview with Rappler. 

“The bylaws – it’s number one versus number three, number two versus number four. By default, we’re supposed to be in the first day,” he added.

After hearing out La Salle and Ateneo’s concerns, the league decided to move the contest to Sunday, August 17, to give the two schools more time to properly distribute and sell tickets to the game. 

“Having it on the second day is the concession,” the source said. “You also have to know when to take and give in.”

“There are realities of hosting, such as may mga request (like certain requests),” he added, referring to the MOA Arena-Araneta split of Ateneo-La Salle games. “MOA was supposed to hold it, [but] may mga realities (there are realities).”

When asked about the entire fiasco, the source said that the best thing everyone from all sides could do is to “just move forward at the end of the day.”

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.