STA. ROSA — San Miguel Alab Pilipinas head coach Jimmy Alapag is looking to meet with officials from the Asean Basketball League to discuss the rules on technical fouls and suspensions after the league handed PJ Ramos a one-game ban.
The soft-spoken bench tactician is seeking clarification from the league's brass on what he felt were inconsistencies which could derail the Philippine squad's bid for back-to-back titles this 2019 season.
"I need to clarify, to be sure. I hope (he doesn't get suspended again from a technical foul) because technicals can be very subjective to the referees and looking ahead to the playoffs, to the best-of-three, that can put a dent on what we're trying to do. So I'll make sure I clarify that soon," he said.
Ramos was slapped with a one-game ban after being whistled for his fifth technical foul of the season in Zhuhai last Friday.
The call, however, raised eyebrows as the Puerto Rican was only talking to Wolf Warriors reinforcement Shawntez Patterson when both of them were slapped with technical fouls.
"Even the last technical in Zhuhai, him and Patterson were talking and it's just part of the game. It's unfortunate that it has to be his fifth and that led to his suspension," said Alapag.
ABL rules state that any player who incurs his fifth technical foul must serve a one-game ban, which led to the 7-foot-3 center sitting out Alab's fourth meeting against Zhuhai on Sunday.
But Alapag said that even they were caught off-guard with the development, only finding out of the penalty on Saturday.
"We found out Saturday night and I don't agree with it," he said. "I felt the last game was a questionable technical and if you look back at our game against Formosa, those two are questionable because he took a shot in the face right in front of the referee."
Alapag, though, said that Ramos fully undertands the situation and the 41-year-old bench strategist expects his hulking big man to come back stronger for their next game on Saturday against Mono Vampire.
"He's a veteran guy, he understands. He'll be fine going forward," he said. "It is what it is, but I'm looking forward to having him back, especially for our game on Saturday against Mono."
There a silver lining stemming from Ramos' suspension, though, with Alab's other bigs stepping up including Caelan Tiongson getting himself going from deep and Brandon Rosser notching a career-high in their 108-81 victory over the Wolf Warriors on Sunday.
"I thought it was a great effort all the way through. Considering we had PJ out, I thought right from the start, the guys respected the game and the opponent and took care of business," he said.
Tiongson went 4-of-7 from downtown to finish with 14 points, while Rosser tallied 16 points, four rebounds and three assists in the victory.
Those performances are a welcome sight for Alapag, especially heading to what he felt is Alab's "toughest stretch of the season" starting on Saturday in Thailand against a retooled Mono Vampire crew.
"I think tonight was a great game in terms of giving us momentum. I think it's a great preparation for our team for the playoffs, and we'll make sure that we'll bring this type of effort against Mono on Saturday," he said.