Maayos at may kredibilidad na officiating ang prayoridad sa basketball event ng 82nd University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) na magsisimula na ngayong Miyerkoles.

Ito ang ibinahagi ni UAAP executive director Rene Saguisag, Jr. at cage commissioner Jensen Ilagan Martes sa weekly Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum sa Amelie Hotel Manila sa Jorge Bocobo, Malate.

“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,” ani ni Saguisag sa forum na mga piniprisinta ng San Miguel Corp., Braska Restaurant, Amelie Hotel, at Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor).

Bilang technical director ng ASEAN Basketball League (ABL), inaasahan na malaki ang maitutulong ni Ilagan sa pag-implemento ng analitiko para sa ipapakita ng mga referee.

“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,” ani Saguisag

“And appreciation and gathering of data, diyan magaling si Jensen,” dagdag pa nito kay Ilagan, 37, na FIBA certified table official at may Commerce degree sa Asia Pacific College.

Sa pamumuno ni Ilagan, nagpa-UAAP refs try-outs siya nitong Hulyo 7 kung saan 174 ang lumahok.

Mula 174, tinapyas ito sa 77 hanggang makuha ang 55 na officials na nahati sa teams A at B na tututok sa seniors hoopfest.

“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,” talak ni Ilagan.

Sa unang pagkakataon, mayroon ng UAAP female deputy commissioner, si Edith Boticario, pioneer ng lady referees sa PBA at FIBA-licensed official, na tutulong kay Ilagan sa basketball tournaments kasama ang debut ng girls caging. (Janiel Abby Toralba)