JIMMY Alapag wasn't happy with a non-call in a crucial moment of the game, but he made it clear officiating was not the biggest reason for Tanduay Alab Pilipinas lost to the Singapore Slingers on Wednesday.
Alab Pilipinas saw its three-game ABL win streak snapped by the Slingers, 90-80, in a game marred by a non-call on what many felt should've been a travelling violation by Singapore import Xavier Alexander.
The non-call led to Alexander beating the 24-second shotclock with a basket that gave the Slingers an 84-76 lead with with two minutes left in the game.
Afterwards, a furious Alapag was called for a technical foul for complaining - his first as a coach, leading to an AJ Mandani free throw.
“I will never blame the referees for a loss, but that was a bad call. A really bad call,” said Alapag, adding he hasn't been slapped with a technical for quite a while, even during his time as a player.
Alapag claimed a referee admitted the non-call was his fault.
“With the game in the balance, six-point game, two minutes left, he made that call. It wasn’t close. If it was close, okay fine. But they even told me afterward that, 'It was our fault, it was our fault.'
"But now, we are down 10 because of a technical and you counted a shot that should not have been counted,” said Alapag.
Despite the bad breaks, Alapag said officiating was not the reason for Alab’s defeat that ended their three-game winning streak.
“It was a big call. And again, it was something that I wasn’t happy about. But that wasn’t what cost us the game. I think Singapore just played a better game,” said Alapag.
A big reason for Singapore’s win was AJ Mandani, who was once again big for Singapore, scoring 11 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter - something that didn't escape the eyes of Alapag.
“Mandani shot the lights out. Every time he shot a transition three, he knocked it down. He was big for them,” said Alapag.