A coach versus a fan?
Ateneo Blue Eagles and De La Salle Green Archers have been arch-rivals for a long time now—thus, heated games are definitely inevitable.
But last Sunday, September 1, Ateneo coach Bo Perasol couldn’t help but confront a Green Archer supporter, named JJ Atayde, a cousin of one of the board members of LaSalle who he said mouthed foul words at him.
Before joining Ateneo, Perasol had called plays in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA). Though he admits that he also met a lot of hecklers there, he emphasized that what Atayde did was “below the belt.”
In a text message sent to InterAKTV, Perasol said, “I’ve experienced countless of hecklers before but never from a person coming directly at me from where he was seated. People acting that way are looking for something. I’m willing to give anybody what he is looking for.”
The game began to heat up when Perasol was slapped with a technical foul with just a minute left in the game which was later translated into two free throws. The Blue Eagles were still able to come back to tie the game at 64, but Jeron Teng of the Green Archers scored with 1.9 seconds left, leading to their 66-64 win in the 76th season of UAAP.
A day after his near-altercation with the La Salle supporter, Perasol sent a letter of apology to the Ateneo community.
His letter reads, “Let me express my apologies for my un-Atenean-like behavior I displayed in public yesterday,” Perasol wrote in a letter addressed to Ateneo president Fr. Jett Villarin and team benefactor Manuel V. Pangilinan. “Couple that with our team’s loss to Lasalle. The better part of me, should have avoided the confrontation by turning my other cheek. As it turned out, I was caught off guard and the worse (not yet worst) part of me prevailed.”
Atayde has also sent an apology, but remained firm that he did not badmouth Perasol.
Perasol added in his letter of apology, “In retrospect, I thought that the action that really ticked me off was the blatant display of arrogance and disrespect against my players and my person which I can’t just normally turn a blind eye and deaf ear to. My actions may have put Ateneo in bad light and I’m sorry to have acted the way I did.”
The UAAP board decided to suspend Perasol for one game, barring the latter to call plays scheduled for September 8.