Freeman Cebu Sports

CESAFI suspends 3 referees

Emmanuel B. Villaruel - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - The Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. (CESAFI) has suspended three of its referees for not exercising their duties to the fullest during the juniors division match between the University of Cebu Junior Webmasters and the University of Southern Philippines Foundation Baby Panthers last Sunday at the Cebu Coliseum.

Slapped with a three-game ban each were referees Jun Babanto, Reynaldo Barriga and Edison Sabellano.

"They are suspended for three games for not giving their authority in officiating the game of high school between UC and USPF," said CESAFI commissioner Felix "Boy" O. Tiukinhoy, Jr. in an official statement sent via text message.

Tiukinhoy's deputy Danny Duran, in a separate interview, said the action of the league was meant to discipline the referees for their failure to control the game.

"It was not really a chaotic match. The action taken is merely a disciplinary measure on the referees for their failure to put the game under their full control," said Duran.

Before scoring a 77-49 rout for their fourth win in five starts, the Junior Webmasters had to deal with a highly-physical and at times rough play by the Baby Panthers.

As a result, two USPF players in Christopher Erick Isabelo and Kyle Niño Ochavo were thrown out of the game for successive unsportsmanlike fouls. Aside from an automatic one-game suspension and a P5,000 fine, they must also render a four-hour community service under the supervision of the Cebu City Sports Commission before they will be allowed to play again.

A CESAFI insider who requested not to be named as he is not authorized to speak on behalf of the league said there were so many non-calls during the UC-USPF duel that tension could have been eased had the referees made the right calls.

As action heated up, someone from the USPF bench threw bottled water onto the court. As punishment, he will no longer be allowed to sit on the bench for the rest of the season. (FREEMAN)

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