REFEREES will make mistakes, but you just have to keep playing.
That in a nutshell was the message of rookie coach Alex Compton to his Alaska players, some of whom lost the plot in a highly physical Game Two of their PBA Governors Cup semifinal series against Rain or Shine.
The Aces lost, 87-99, in a bruising battle that saw import Henry Walker sit out a critical stretch due to a flagrant foul on Beau Belga and Gabby Espinas get ejected on two technicals for shouting at the referees.
Walker later claimed he was at the receiving end of 'dirty plays' and punches from Rain or Shine players while Espinas couldn't be restrained after blowing his top over what he felt was a non-call on a foul by AZ Reid.
But regardless, Compton said his players should stop complaining and continue playing.
“I think the refs will miss calls. I don’t even know if they missed the call (on Espinas). I haven’t seen the tape,” said Compton, who had to restrain Espinas from going after the refs during the commotion.
“Maybe they (referees) missed calls, maybe they won’t, but regardless, we just expect and my job as a coach, is that whatever the call, we just keep playing,” he added.
Of the two plays, Compton clearly rued the ejection of Espinas, which came at a time when the Aces had cut down what once stood as a 26-point deficit to single digits.
Alaska can't afford to lose him at a critical stretch, the coach said.
“He’s just too important for the team,” said Compton. "I love Gabby. He’s a great player in the post. I think he had eight points and nine rebounds in 17 minutes.”
With the best-of-five series level at 1-1, Compton said he expects his players not to get distracted by referees' calls - whether they are called correctly or not.
“If there’s no whistle, just keep playing," he said. "If there’s no foul call then technically it’s not a foul, 'coz they didn’t call it, but if you get punched in the face and they don’t call it, that’s not a foul.”