UAAP officials vow improved officiating in Season 82

ABS-CBN Sports on Sep 03, 2019 05:04 PM
UAAP officials vow improved officiating in Season 82
UAAP Executive Director Atty. Rebo Saguisag (left) and commissioner for basketball Jensen Ilagan assured UAAP fans of an improved and more competent officiating for Season 82.

Officiating specifically in the centerpiece event of basketball will be among the top priorities of the UAAP for Season 82 which officially kicks off Wednesday with a heavy six-game bill.

UAAP Executive Director Atty. Rebo Saguisag and commissioner for basketball Jensen Ilagan said the continuous thrust of improving officiating is a testament to the league’s serious intent of minimizing deplorable calls and weeding out incompetent officials.

“Our advocacy is in referee development. I do like our 3Es which is to Educate, Empower, and Enable. Importante yun since the referees have long been ignored and abused for the longest time. And misunderstood, by the way,” said Saguisag in the weekly Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum, where he appeared with Ilagan Tuesday at the Amelie Hotel Manila.

Ilagan is the one tasked to handle the sensitive matter and among the innovations the technical director of the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) will be implementing is adapting analytics for referees’ performance.

Analytics concerns turning raw data into insight for making better decision and relies on the application of statistics and operations research to quantify and gain insight to the meanings of data.

“We’re going towards the direction of having data and evaluating referees based on data. We have to have basis to be able to support our assertion that a certain referee is performing well or not,” explained the 47-year-old Saguisag in the same forum presented by San Miguel Corp., Braska Restaurant, Amelie Hotel, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).

“And appreciation and gathering of data, diyan magaling si Jensen,” he added about Ilagan, 37, who is also a FIBA certified table official with a degree in Commerce at the Asia Pacific College.

Immediately, game officials will be put to test with the holding of three men’s and three women’s matches as basketball event ushers the 2019-2020 edition of the league.

Five-time women’s champion National University, undefeated in 80 games dating back to 2014, opens its title retention bid against Far Eastern University at 8:00 a.m. followed by the men’s action between University of Santo Tomas versus University of the East at 10:30 a.m.

University of the Philippines, featuring the deadly tandem of Kobe Paras and Ricci Rivero, tangles with Far Eastern University at 12:30 p.m. before Ateneo begins its quest for a third straight men’s championship against Adamson at 4:00 p.m.

All four games will be held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

To be played simultaneously at the UST gym are the women’s matches between Ateneo and UE (8:00 a.m.), and La Salle against UP (10:00 a.m.)

Under Ilagan, the UAAP conducted tryouts for its pool of referees last July where a total of 174 officials participated. The numbers were later trimmed to 77 and finally down to 55 which were later divided into teams A and B from which a pool will be made to call the shots for the seniors basketball tournament.

“They all underwent intensive training and part of it includes interpretation of FIBA rules, officiating mechanics, among others. Since Day 1 kasi our main objective is to Educate, Empower, and Enable,” said the ABL official.

For the first time, too, the UAAP will have its first-ever female Deputy Commissioner in Edith Boticario, who will help Ilagan oversee all basketball tournaments, including the debuting girls’ basketball event.

Boticario was among the pioneer lady referees in the PBA who is likewise a FIBA-licensed official.

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