Coach Atoy Co accepts Cardinals' loss, but notes poor officiating made for a dismal one-sided game
“Natalo sana ng maayos okay lang, inalis niya ’yung magandang laban,” says coach Atoy Co, referring to a referee whom he believes hampered the Cardinals' performance. Dante Peralta

COACH Atoy Co lamented the officiating in a match that saw import Allwell Oraeme fouling out in the third quarter and Mapua bowing to Arellano.

Co pointed out that four of the five fouls called on Oraeme were handed by only one game official, referee Ferdinand Manalac.

The PBA great also said he felt the last foul was called after an “acting job” by an Arellano defender.

Oraeme had nine points and 11 rebounds before fouling out.

“’Yung huling call, may acting na eh,” said Co, even demonstrating what happened to reporters who interviewed him after the game.

“Halos lahat siya ang tumawag eh. Apat ata siya ang tumawag. Kaya sabi ko, ikaw ang nagpatalo sa amin. Hindi lang nagpatalo, ikaw ang nagpatambak sa amin. Natalo sana ng maayos okay lang, inalis niya ’yung magandang laban,” said Co.

Co, however, said the fouling out of Oraeme is not an excuse for the other Cardinals not stepping up, noting that while Arellano main man struggled, the other Chiefs took charge.

“Wala namang team na nananalo na mag-isa lang. Si Jalalon nga, wala masyadong score, nanalo dahil maganda ‘yung effort ng Arellano. Talagang admittedly, we were outplayed because nawala si Allwell,” Co said.

Still, Co said he remains satisfied with the overall play of the Cardinals, who remained in the top half of the standings with a 4-1 win-loss slate.

“I’m still happy with our standings because we have seven new players. Hindi pa kami ganun ka-solid pero we have an import na masipag, bumablangka, at dumedepensa. Pero siyempre, kailangan ko rin ’yung mga locals na mag-step up,” said Co.

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