UC head coach files protest against Cesafi referee

By: Glendale G. Rosal - Multimedia Correspondent - CDN Digital | November 09,2023 - 06:00 AM

UC head coach files protest against Cesafi referee. In photo is Lawyer Kernn Sesante, UC Webmasters head coach. | Photo from the UC Webmasters Men's Basketball Facebook page

Lawyer Kernn Sesante, UC Webmasters head coach. | Photo from the UC Webmasters Men’s Basketball Facebook page

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The head coach of the University of Cebu (UC) Webmasters Kernn Sesante formally filed a letter of protest against Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. (Cesafi) basketball referee Roland Yamelo.

The protest focuses on UC and USJ-R’s men’s basketball game on Tuesday evening, November 7 at the Cebu Coliseum where one of Sesante’s players, Danie Lapiz was called for a technical foul for allegedly “flopping” in front of UC’s bench.

It was instead of calling an offensive foul or charging against USJ-R team captain Justine Jules Langres. 

READ: Cesafi: UC Webmasters now 8-0 

Because of the missed call, Sesante got frustrated that resulted to his on-court outburst. Sesante confronted Yamelo right after the latter called for a technical foul on Lapiz.

It resulted to Sesante being sent out of the game and was slapped with a one-game suspension, a P10,000 fine, and four-hour community service. 

With that in mind, Sesante filed a letter of protest sent to Cesafi commissioner Felix Tiukinhoy on November 8, 2023. 

READ: UCLM Webmasters tame USPF Baby Panthers, keep 7-0 win streak in Cesafi hoop battles

In his letter, Sesante wants Tiukinhoy to thoroughly review the video of the incident and impose sanction on Yamelo for ‘incompetency’ and ‘grave abuse of discretion’.

“It’s therefore, respectfully implored that the Honorable Commissioner shall: 1. Make a thorough review of the video of the incident. 2. Recall the technical fouls given by Referee Roland Yamelo to UC’s Lapiz and UC’s coaching staff in relation to the “flopping” incident; 3. Impose sanctions against Referee Roland Yamelo for incompetency and grave abuse of discretion,” said Sesante’s protest letter.


Sesante also told CDN Digital that he got frustrated from the call as that sequence between Lapiz and Langres happened in front of him and the entire UC bench during a closely-fought game that his team eventually won, 73-59.

“I got really frustrated because there was full contact initiated by Langres and naturally Lapiz would lose his balance. It could have been a blocking foul or an offensive foul. It would have been acceptable. But to call it as a technical against Lapiz because he allegedly flop that’s why he fell down is absurd and beyond logic,” said Sesante. 

“The video clearly shows he fell down because of the contact. He was even hit in the groin area that is why he was grimacing in pain. I’m just glad the boys stepped up after the ejection. They know that that I would always protect them.”

READ: Cesafi suspends CBSAA’s Franz Jefferey Aballe, three referees

Sesante apologizes

Sesante also noted on his letter that he begs for ‘dispensation’ for his reaction towards Yamelo during the game. Sesante stated that he had a ‘profound respect’ for the league officials for supervising such difficult and challenging task.

However, he wants them to exercise a fair officiating and in good faith. Sesante apologized stating that he had no intention whatsoever to disrespect the league or to embarrass or deride the referees. 

“I have always exemplified calmness and composure. In fact, for all the years that I have been with Cesafi, this is the first and only time that my passion got the best of me,” Sesante said on his letter. 

Sesante had to pay an additional P5,000 for protesting. Co-noted on his letter of protest was UC’s athletic director Jessica Honoridez. 

READ: Cesafi: Defending champs Magis Eagles to go up against leader Baby Webmasters 

Same sentiments

On the other hand, USJ-R head coach Melo Banua also revealed that he and the ‘priests’ of their school will have a meeting to come up with the proper actions against the Cesafi officiating.

“Plano namo storyahan sa uban ang mga pari. Grabe kaayo tawag nila gahapon. Meeting pa mi ugma,” Banua said. 

(We plan to talk about this with the other priests. The calls they made yesterday were really horrendous. We will meet with them tomorrow [Thursday].)

READ: UAAP: Malick Diouf returns, propels UP past UE and into Final Four

Referees suspended

This isn’t the first time a referee from Cesafi basketball was involved in such issue. Last October, Cesafi officials cracked the whip on three referees who manned the CBSAA Trailblazers vs. SHS-AdC Magis Eagles.

The referees were suspended for two games for their failure to recognize the physical harm done by one of CBSAA’s players Franz Jeffrey Aballe against Nicolas Yu during the game.

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TAGS: Cesafi, head coach, Kernn Sesante, referee, University of Cebu (UC) Webmasters

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