COLLEGE of Saint Benilde started its season on a bizarre note when it won its opening game via forfeiture, and it was not the result that rookie Head Coach TY Tang expected for his rebuilding team.
It was a tight battle from tip-off to finish for Benilde and Perpetual Help on Tuesday. The Altas won the game, 69-65, as the boys from Las Piñas relied on the late-game heroics of towering Nigerian Prinze Eze that bailed out his team from a painful loss.
But, as it turned out, the Altas are wearing their wrong jerseys. They are supposed to don their light uniforms. The league knew it, yet the game still went on.
“It was an obvious violation of rules. For me, the game should have been forfeited from the start. Rules are rules,” Tang said.
The Blazers filed a protest and the management committee released its decision immediately after proper deliberations.
“Any athlete whose playing uniform does not conform with the rules, first offense is ineligible to participate in a given game,” Management Committee Chairman Fr. Glyn Ortega, OAR, said in a statement.
“Hence, the Perpetual Help forfeits its game in both the juniors and seniors division,” Ortega added.
Tang accepted the decision, though it came late according to him. He mentioned that the “loss” exposed the areas to be improved on for the Blazers as they hope to bounce back from a single-win season last year.
“Hopefully, we can bag more wins to build the moral and confidence of the team. We want to adopt the winning mentality in this team,” the 32-year-old former pro player said. “We wanted a regular win, but we will take this.”
The mentor said that they will work with everything they need to sharpen on both ends of the court. It’s a tough job, but Tang said he believes patience is a virtue.