CHESS:  PARAGUA  RIPS  VIET GM, SEIZES ZONAL LEAD /UAAP: NO REPLAY

MANILA
, September 7, 2005 
(STAR) Grandmaster MarK Paragua defended well with the black pieces and completed a stunning upset win over top seed GM Dao Thien Hai of Vietnam yesterday to grab the solo lead after five rounds of the Zone 3.3 (East Asia Zone) Championships at Stanford Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The victory came after Paragua, the country’s newest GM, halved the point with veteran GM Utut Adianto of Indonesia in the fourth round Monday, hiking his output to 4.5 points halfway through the 9-round Swiss system event where the top two finishers will represent the region in the World Championship.

That was half-a-point ahead of another Vietnam GM Nguyen Anh Dung, Fide Master Tirto and Adianto.

Round 6 is being played at presstime with Paragua taking on Anh Dung, hoping to sustain his form with the white pieces and firm up his bid for another stint in the world tilt.

Four other Filipinos remain in the hunt for one of the two world championship berths, including GMs Joey Antonio and Nelson Mariano II, and IM Jayson Gonzales and National Master Oliver Barbosa.

Antonio, enjoying one of his finest seasons back home and abroad, was held to a third straight draw, this time by Adianto as he led the 3.5-point scorers who included IM Wynn Zaw Htun, Singapore GM Wong Meng-kong, Gonzaels, Mariano and Barbosa.

Mariano, who beat Wong in the fourth round, settled for a draw with Zaw Htun, while Gonzales and Barbosa agreed to split the point to stay in contention heading into the last four rounds of the annual event topped by IM Ronald Dableo last year.

Replay not an option’ SPORTING CHANCE By Joaquin M. Henson The Philippine Star 09/07/2005

The University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Board will convene on Friday to settle the issue of whether or not to accept the recommendation of the technical committee with regard to the recent La Salle-University of the East (UE) men’s seniors basketball game at the Blue Eagle gym.

Last Saturday, the committee nullified La Salle’s 86-83 overtime loss and awarded the victory to UE because of an alleged technical violation that happened with 1.8 seconds to go in regulation. The committee ruled that UE won, 74-72, and made as if the overtime never transpired.

The committee acted on the basis of UE’s protest that La Salle should not have been allowed a timeout because J. V. Casio had already inbounded the ball. Casio threw in to Joseph Yeo who missed a desperation shot at the buzzer. After the play, it was confirmed that La Salle coach Franz Pumaren had called a timeout before the inbound but neither the referees nor Casio heard the buzzer because the noise from the crowd of 8,000 was deafening. The clock was reset to reflect 1.8 seconds left and when play was resumed, La Salle converted to force overtime.

In extension, La Salle proved to be tougher down the stretch and prevailed, 86-83.

La Salle has protested the technical committee’s decision and that’s why the matter is now up to the Board to resolve.

The reversal of the outcome has created an uproar in the basketball community because the verdict means the contest was decided not by the players on the court but by non-players in the boardroom–something that threatens the integrity of the game.

I’m not sure if UE coach Dindo Pumaren even hoped for such a gift. Sure, the game was important but no player or coach would like to win that way.

Technical committee head Ricky Palou and UAAP commissioner Joe Lipa know what preserving the integrity of the game is all about. And it’s certainly not by reversing the outcome of a game with the stroke of a pen to penalize a team that did nothing wrong.

A UAAP source from a third party school whispered that he learned Palou and Lipa did not push for the reversal. If that’s true, then the culprits had to be Fr. Ermito de Sagun of the University of Santo Tomas and Dr. Ric Matibag of Adamson. The other members of the committee, Ramoncito Campos of La Salle and Bren Perez of UE, were not involved in the voting.

I wonder if Fr. de Sagun and Dr. Matibag are qualified to decide on a purely technical basketball issue’ They may be well-respected educators but what are their basketball qualifications’

The same source said the committee reviewed a video of the last few seconds to determine if a timeout had been called before the inbounds pass. But you and I know how inconclusive a video is when breaking down film by split seconds. Why resort to a video if the testimonies of the table and game clock officials are available’ few seconds were replayed at least twice after a pair of throw-ins when FIBA secretary-general William Jones decided, right there and then, there were errors on the part of table officials. Pandemonium had also broken out in the dying seconds when a US victory was apparent. Russia wound up scoring a basket at the buzzer from a baseball pitch.

The US protested the game but FIBA upheld Russia’s win.

If the UAAP technical committee’s basis to reverse the outcome of the La Salle-UE game was a FIBA rule, then it should study what happened in 1972. It was FIBA that junked the US protest and reaffirmed Russia’s victory.Are those officials not reliable’ If their credibility is questionable, why were they employed in the first place’ Lipa is not a member of the committee but surely, as commissioner, his word counts for something. So does Palou’s.

The issue boils down to whether or not La Salle called a timeout before Casio’s inbounds. My understanding is Lipa and the table officials confirmed it. Pumaren–Franz, that is–swears he did.

The implication of the committee’s decision reversing the outcome is Lipa, Pumaren and the table officials are all liars.

Now comes the disturbing news that somewhere in the minutes of a past UAAP meeting is a resolution stating that a replay will never be ordered for a game that has gone at least 35 minutes. If that’s the case, then a replay is not an option–never mind if such a rule doesn’t seem to make sense.

If a replay is not an option, then the Board should consider the only other alternative–restore La Salle’s victory because awarding the win to UE would be a travesty of justice.

At the 1972 Munich Olympics, there was a similar incident in the championship game between the USA and the Soviet Union. The last few seconds were replayed at least twice after a pair of throw-ins when FIBA secretary-general William Jones decided, right there and then, there were errors on the part of table officials. Pandemonium had also broken out in the dying seconds when a US victory was apparent. Russia wound up scoring a basket at the buzzer from a baseball pitch.

The US protested the game but FIBA upheld Russia’s win.

If the UAAP technical committee’s basis to reverse the outcome of the La Salle-UE game was a FIBA rule, then it should study what happened in 1972. It was FIBA that junked the US protest and reaffirmed Russia’s victory.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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