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MANILA, Philippines – FEU men’s volleyball assistant coach Eddieson Orcullo publicly apologized after getting caught addressing NU middle blocker Obed Mukaba with a racial slur during the Tamaraws’ eventual four-set loss to the undefeated Bulldogs in the UAAP men’s volleyball on Sunday, April 16.
Amid a heated third set which FEU eventually won, broadcast cameras caught Orcullo referring to NU’s Congolese student-athlete with a slur during a timeout, and a clip of the incident quickly went viral as the game was ongoing.
FEU team manager Obet Cruz preempted further blowback with a quick apology on Twitter, saying: “It is with a humble heart that Coach Edd together with the entire FEU MVT (men’s volleyball team) apologize to Obed Mukaba for the term used to refer to him in one of the huddles in today’s game.”
“Coach Edd has already personally called Coach Dante [Alinsunurin] and Coach Dong [dela Cruz] of NU MVT to apologize,” Cruz continued, which Orcullo also noted in his own statement.
“That was unintentional and I think my emotions just got the best of me in the game,” the former PVL head coach of Sta. Lucia said in Filipino.
“Again, I’m asking for forgiveness for what happened. I will approach Obed in their next game that will happen the same day as ours to personally apologize for what I said.”
Although Alinsunurin noted that Mukaba was “a bit hurt” with what was said, it’s water under the bridge now for the rookie Bulldog, who first became a major part of the rotation in NU’s title-winning Spikers’ Turf campaign in 2022.
“We talked with FEU’s coaching staff. They apologized for what was said and we were able to talk to Obed,” Alinsunurin said in Filipino. “He said he’s okay now and he no longer wants to blow up the issue.”
Although FEU and NU no longer have a shared game date for the rest of the UAAP Season 85 elimination round, Orcullo may still get a chance to personally apologize once the Final Four rolls around, as the Tamaraws are still running third behind the top-ranked Bulldogs. – Rappler.com