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Co slapped with two-game ban for response to refs in Mapua's win versus Lyceum

By Ivan Saldajeno

SAN JUAN, MM--The NCAA management committee announced a two-game suspension on Mapua coach Atoy Co on Monday for yet another confrontation with the referees.

The committee based the ban on Co's resentment to the officials about Allwell Oraeme's foul midway through the fourth quarter of the Cardinals' match against the Lyceum Pirates on Friday.

The referees called a foul on Oraeme, which turned out to be his fifth, sending him off.

Co confronted them for the call, and they responded by raising the virtual red card to the PBA legend, forcing him to exit the playing court.

While the ejection automatically means a one-game ban, the ManCom stiffened the sanction on Co by adding another game where Co was ordered not to show up.

It was the second time Co got a suspension order. The first came after he was ejected in both teams' first meeting, where he took off his shirt and waved it in protest to the referees' calls during that game.

Despite losing their coach late in those matches, the Cardinals beat the Pirates in both meetings.

Mapua, now on a four-game winning streak that kept them in contention for a Final Four spot, will take on fellow playoff contenders Letran and Arellano on Tuesday and Friday respectively.