THE word war rages on between Alaska and Talk `N Text.
Aces coach Luigi Trillo fired back and said it isn’t fair for Tropang Texters counterpart Norman Black to say the “referees favored the Aces” following Alaska’s 104-99 win over the defending champions in Game Four of their PBA Philippine Cup semifinals on Friday night.
The best-of-seven series is tied at 2-2 with Game Five set Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“I think we got into their driving lanes and drew the charge. And I think they were a bit out of control by then. It wasn’t because they (Tropang Texters) were getting the wrong end of the calls because it’s like taking away our good defense,” said Trillo in response to Black’s post-game talk with Spin.ph after the game.
Black was candid to say after the Game Four loss that the Aces “have been posturing for the referees to give them the calls… and they got the calls.”
But Trillo didn’t take the comments sitting down, stressing, “we play an inside-out game. So there was a lot of hacking and holding that happened. In the last few minutes, what they did was to try and foul us that’s why we took many free throws.”
The Aces were awarded nine free throws and made seven in the final five minutes of the match , which saw Talk ‘N Text trail by as many as 13 points in the final period.
Even though the series is now tied, Trillo is still a bit concern at how officiating has gone so far in the series.
“Overall in the series, I’m super worried because of the unpredictability of the officiating. In the past three games, we haven’t been getting the calls. But not that I agree officiating is bad, but I feel we’re not getting the calls,” said the 37-year-old Alaska mentor.
Both teams were slapped a combined 59 fouls in Game Four.
Alaska went to the charity stripe 36 times, making 28 of its attempts, while Talk ‘N Text went 24-of-27 from the same spot.
Trillo expects the calls to be even tight heading into the final stretches of the hotly-contested series in order to prevent players from getting out of control again.
“First thing I noticed in Game Four was that the calls were tighter. I don’t know if it’s good for the players and for both teams because of the physicality. But the aggressive team that gets to the basket will get the calls more” noted Trillo.
Game Three was marred by numerous physical plays that saw game officials slap a combined three flagrant and three technical fouls in between the two teams.