ALASKA rookie Calvin Abueva has apologized to PBA referee Edward Aquino, saying he was so focused on the game on Sunday night he didn't realize the game official was hurt in a freak accident late in the Aces' 85-81 win over Barako Bull at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“Wala akong kaalam-alam na nasaktan si referee Aquino,” said Abueva in an interview posted on the team’s website. “Hindi ko akalain talaga na nasaktan siya. Kaya inuulit ko ang paghingi ng pasensya sa akin. Masyado talaga ako focused sa laro kaya hindi agad ako nakahingi ng paumanhin.”
The incident happened with a little over two minutes left in the match when Abueva tried to chase down a loose ball and ended up crashing into Aquino, his momentum causing the referee to be pinned between him and the baseline railing of the Big Dome.
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The referee shook off the contact and finished the match, but later complained of pains and was brought to a hospital where he was diagnosed with swollen spine tissues and a possible slipped disc.
In an interview with Spin.ph in a hospital in Mandaluyong on Monday, Aquino said he was surprised that Abueva walked away from the incident as if nothing happened, not bothering to apologize.
“Ang tagal ko nang nagre-referee pero ngayon lang ako nabangga nang iniwan ako nung player,” said Aquino. “Kadalasan kasi pag nabangga kami, o worst nadaganan, yung mga players magsasabi ng sorry o kaya, tatapikin kami.”
Abueva said he never realized the contact was serious enough to cause injury to the game official.
“Ang alam ko na-out-of-balance lang siya kaya natumba. Hindi ako nakahingi ng patawad dahil focused ako masyado sa game at dahil nga akala ko walang ano man ang nangyari. Kaya muli akong humihingi ng dispensa sa nangyari,” Abueva explained.
The former San Sebastian Stag said that he even tried to contact Aquino through PBA official Rhose Montreal through a text message, the content of which was posted in the story posted on the website.
It read: “ate rhose gudeve. musta na si edward? pasencia na if hindi ako naka hingi nang dispensa sa nangyare. wala naman may gustong mangyare un eh. pagaling cia and godbless. salamat.”