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Ayo, Co banned for respective Friday games

Atoy Co is suspended for Mapua's Friday clash with CSB.
By Ivan Saldajeno

SAN JUAN, MM--Mapua and Letran will not have Coaches Atoy Co and Aldin Ayo respectively for their NCAA match-ups on Friday as Commissioner Bai Cristobal announced that both mentors will serve one-game suspensions following their actions in their previous games.

The commissioner told the press on Thursday that because of their gestures deemed disrespectful to the officials, both Co and Ayo, who both starred for the Cardinals and the Knights respectively during their playing years, will be out for Friday.

"Kay Atoy Co, meron tayong ground rules na two technical fouls, automatic ejection yan. Anybody who is thrown out of the court by the referee, on the next scheduled game, suspension [will be meted out]," Cristobal further explained the sanction on Co, who stripped and waved his shirt to the crowd in Mapua's last game.

He added, "As the commissioner, ang mandato ko is to warn him doon sa t-shirt niya by taking it off. That's another issue. Pag magkaroon ng repetition, papasok yung suspension."

Cristobal also revealed that he gave a stern warning to Ayo in a prior incident, which led to elevating the latter's sanction to a suspension after he threw a monobloc chair out for complaining a late Letran foul in its last outing.

"He was not thrown out, but he was given a warning when they were playing against San Sebastian when he removed the eyeglasses of his coaching staff and gave them to the referee," the commissioner bared.

He also said that the referees overlooked the chair-throwing incident that meted the Letran coach a technical foul.

About the ban, Cristobal reasoned, "We have house rules on and off the court. Because of that first warning na binigay ko sa kanya, yung second offense niya is a suspension on the next scheduled game."

He summarized the sanctions for Co and Ayo as due to disrespect to the officials.

Cristobal later assured that he will base all his decisions regarding the future sanctions on the house rules of the league, which is mostly based on international rules.

He vowed, "I'll see to it that I'll be going to make this thing running under the house rules of the NCAA."

Ayo will miss the Knights' match against the EAC Generals scheduled at 2 p.m. on Friday, while Co will serve his suspension in the Cardinals' 4 p.m. match-up against the CSB Blazers.

Mapua will actually be two men down as Andretti Stevens will also serve his own one-game suspension against CSB after getting ejected in its last match.

Coincidentally, the reason for Co, Stevens, and Ayo's suspensions came against the same opponent, Lyceum, which will also have one player serving his own suspension.

Joseph Gabayni will miss the Pirates' 12 p.m. game against the San Sebastian Golden Stags as he was slapped with a disqualifying foul against the Knights' Rey Nambatac in their game on Tuesday.