ALASKA Milk team owner Wilfred Uytengsu issued a call for fair officiating in the Aces' knockout match against Barangay Ginebra on Saturday as he insisted that Mark Caguioa's 'MMA foul' on Calvin Abueva has no place in the pro league.
As eighth-seeded Alaska stand on the threshold of ousting crowd favorite Ginebra in the PBA Philippine Cup playoffs, the outspoken businessman/ sportsman said referees should always call it fairly and consistently, regarded of which teams are playing.
"Officiating needs to be consistent regardless of who is playing," Uytengsu said in a message sent to Spin.ph, a day after the Aces' 104-97 win over the twice-to-beat Gin Kings. "And it needs to be consistent on both sides of the court."
Uytengsu warned inconsistent calls can only ruin an unfolding classic like Saturday's match.
"The ref can't call a touch foul on one side and then let the other team hold, bump and set moving picks," he said. "I expect the Commissioner (Chito Salud) will remind the game officials (of that)."
At the same time, the Alaska owner said referees can't allow players to get away with an 'MMA foul' like what he claimed Caguioa did on Wednesday, when the Ginebra star landed on Abueva during a loose ball with his two elbows appearing to target the Aces' star.
"The refs can't let fouls like this get the game out of hand," said the accomplished triathlete. "Caguioa's MMA foul is more like an MMA move and only belongs in the octagon."
Uytengsu assured his team will abide by its philoplophy of winning with integrity.
"The Alaska Aces will just play our game. NO quit, NO excuses, NO regrets," he said. "And we will persevere beyond unfair officiating. (We) win with integrity."
Asked if Alaska has fallen victim to biased officiating before, Uytengsu responded: "It's up for you to decide."
Even longtime Alaska fan Lucy Buenaventura expressed concern ahead of the do-or-die match.
"Yun ang kinakatakot ko kasi sikat ang Ginebra. Kung fair ang calls, may tsansa kami. Kapag patas 'yan, wala kaming ikakatakot. Matatanggap namin ang pagkatalo," 'Ate Lucy' bared.