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Severino says sorry for altercation with Leviste

The coaching staffs of Ateneo, seen above, and La Salle were urged by the UAAP to maintain proper bench decorum following a heated argument in the third quarter of their finals opener. (file photo)

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Ateneo assistant coach Gabby Severino made a public apology for his gesture toward a La Salle supporter in Game 1 of the UAAP men's basketball finals at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay on Saturday night.

Severino was seen exchanging dirty fingers with former Batangas vice governor Mark Leviste during a timeout in the third quarter of the game won by the Green Archers.

"The gesture was made in an emotional moment at the height of a heated exchange between our coaching staff and their management staff which should not have occurred in the first place. That said, it is unacceptable behavior and I apologize to my family, my friends and both school communities. It will not happen again," said Severino in a statement posted on his Facebook account on Tuesday night.
Because of the said altercation, the UAAP issued a memo to both the Ateneo and La Salle coaching staffs on Monday saying that they should maintain proper decorum even at the heat of the game.

Both teams play one more time on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City with the Archers, holding a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three affair, looking to sweep the series against the Blue Eagles and win their ninth UAAP title.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno