HWASEONG, Korea — Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes said he was puzzled on why Marcus Douthit’s shot at their own basket was nullified late in the Asian Games match against Kazakhstan despite being told by a referee that it is allowed.
Up by two points in the waning seconds of the game against the Kazakhs but needing to win by 11 points to stay in the hunt for a semifinal seat, Gilas tried to take the game to overtime by asking Marcus Douthit to deliberately score on their own basket.
The referees, however, nullified Douthit’s basket, instead awarding the possession to Kazakhstan with the Philippines up 67-65 with 11.4 seconds left.
Reyes said prior to Douthit’s shot, he asked Korean referee Shin Girok during the timeout if shooting at their own basket will be allowed.
The Korean referee said yes, Reyes insisted.
“I went to him and asked and he said, yes we could do it. We did it. But it was nullified. Jimmy (Alapag) asked the same referee. And he said yes too,” Reyes said.
“But the Iranian referee (Reza Azarafza), who just kept calling really weird calls on us the whole game, nullified it,” the Gilas coach continued.
However, Fiba rules are very clear when it comes to 'own goals.' Article 16.2.3 of the Fiba handbook explicity says that 'if a player deliberately scores in the team's own basket, it is a violation and the basket does not count.'
Reyes justified the decision to go for an ‘own goal’ in the bizarre ending, saying it was the only way to get a chance to meet the needed point differential in overtime under the tournament format.
“Of course, we want to bring it to overtime to give us a chance to win by 11 points. Below 11, it’s no use to us. We have to do something like that because we want to survive. That’s the format of the tournament,” said Reyes.
Reyes said putting the game under protest is no use.
“We all know its useless to protest. I’m sure the referee will deny that he said yes. When the Iranian waved it (basket) off and huddled among themselves, when they came back, the original referee Alapag asked said he didn’t say that,” said Reyes.