EVEN though Phoenix got away with what Louie Alas referred to as a big ‘break,’ the Fuel Masters coach still wishes a continued effort to improve officiating in the PBA.
Alas said it’s unfair for a team to be denied a hard-earned win by a referee's call.
He made the appeal heading into the final half of the eliminations and in light of the Fuel Masters’ close 98-96 win over a Stanley Pringle-less NorthPort side on Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
While Alas said most mistakes made by officials are ‘honest ones,’ it should no longer be the case when the act is repeatedly done as what he had raised before league technical chief Eric Castro.
“Ang mgaganda naman diyan nagkakamali lang, honest mistake, hindi sinasadya. Pero hindi puwedeng salamat na lang, hindi sinasadya,” said the Phoenix coach.
“Pag paulit-ulit yung ginagawa hindi na siguro enough 'yung fine, kasi nagpre-prepare yun lahat ng teams tapos in just one honest mistake matatalo ka.”
A case in point was the Fuel Masters’ game against the Batang Pier where Sean Anthony’s three-pointer was nullified after the referee slapped the NorthPort forward with an offensive foul on Justin Chua.
Instead of a chance at a four-point play for Anthony that would've given NorthPort a 100-96 lead with 47 seconds to go, Phoenix pulled off a great escape behind Jason Perkins' two free throws.
Alas said he had no clear view of the play involving Anthony and Chua, but rued how the referees also missed calling a foul on Mo Tautuaa who bumped a driving Matthew Wright underneath the Phoenix basket in the previous play.
“Pero yung kay Matthew wala ring foul, e,” he lamented.
Even then, Alas hopes there will be improvement in the officiating especially heading to the playoffs.
“Uulitin ko, hindi lang naman kami ang naaapektuhan, maraming coaches naman ang ganun din ang sinasabi nila,” he said, “Wala naman tayong binibintang na masama, yung nakikita lang natin.”