UAAP considering suspension for Arnold Van Opstal

MANILA, Philippines – The UAAP is considering suspending De La Salle Green Archers starting center Arnold Van Opstal for his team’s next match against the National University Bulldogs on Wednesday, July 23, at the Mall of Asia Arena.

A source close to the situation has informed Rappler that Van Opstal might be suspended after replay footage of the Green Archers’ last game against the Ateneo Blue Eagles on Sunday, July 20, showed that the big man threw a punch at ADMU big man Alfonso Gotladera during a play in the first half. 

Whether or not the shot at Gotladera was intentional or not has yet to be confirmed. 

Rappler has received footage of the alleged incident, which can be viewed below:

According to the source, the UAAP Commissioner Office is set to meet today, Tuesday, July 22 to further review the video and contemplate a verdict on the matter.

Following the team’s season-opening defeat at the hands of the Far Eastern University Tamaraws on Saturday, July 12, La Salle lost their second straight game to Ateneo, 97-86, putting them below the league standings with a 0-2 record. 

If Van Opstal ends up ineligible to play, La Salle will miss his services as they aim to attain their first win against the unbeaten Bulldogs, 2-0, which fields an impressive rookie big man in Alfred Aroga.

The starting DLSU center is averaging 8.5 PPG this season and is the team’s main rim protector on defense. Furthermore, his absence would deduct another player from Coach Juno Sauler’s starting unit, as the Green Archers no longer have the services of starting point guard Thomas Torres after the latter fractured his foot against the Blue Eagles.

Torres has been ruled out for the rest of the UAAP season.

If Van Opstal gets suspended, it’s likely back-up big man Norbert Torres or Yutien Andrada will take over the starting center duties.