RARE are the times when Norman Black loses his cool, and Sunday night was one of them.
Black believes Talk 'N Text got the raw end of the deal as far as officiating was concerned during the Tropang Texters’ knockout match against San Mig Super Coffee for the last Final Four berth of the PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup.
The multi-titled coach was straight to the point in slamming the way game officials called it against the deposed three-time All-Filipino champions.
“I think it’s ridiculous if one team is called for nine straight (fouls) and another team has none. It’s demoralizing on our side,” a fuming Black shared to Spin.ph moments after the team saw its three-year reign as Philippine Cup champion come to an end after bowing to San Mig, 82-90, at the Astrodome.
A quick look at the stats sheets of both teams clearly showed Talk ‘N Text was whistled for 11 fouls in the fourth quarter as opposed to just one for San Mig.
The Mixers went on to shoot nine of the 16 foul shots given to them during that stretch, enabling them to pull away in a game that was marked by eight deadlocks and 17 lead changes.
In contrast, theTropang Texters didn’t attempt a single foul throw in the same period, prompting Black to blast officiating which he normally doesn’t do.
The two teams engaged in a neck-and-neck battle until the complexion of the game changed when the officials started making calls against his team, according to Black.
“I think it demoralizes the team because we’re getting the raw end of the deal. I mean, come on, you guys have seen a lot of basketball. Something’s very, very wrong with the way the game was played in the fourth quarter,” explained the former Grand Slam coach.
Black said he’s well aware his post-game comment could get him into trouble with the Commissioner’s Office, but he said he would rather speak his mind in the hope that league chief Chito Salud will try to do something about the officiating.
“I know I’ll get fined for my comments but so what? I don’t really care. It’s (fouls in the fourth quarter) ridiculous. It shouldn’t happen. It (Game Three) was a well-played game up until that point, and all of a sudden, we’re the only ones committing fouls,” he said.
“We were touching them and they (referees) were calling fouls on us. They (Mixers) were touching us and there was no foul called on the other end,” added Black.
“Overall, I just didn’t like the way it was refereed in the fourth quarter. This (comment) is gonna get me in trouble but bahala na.”
Black goes on to mention that Talk ‘N Text is just like any of the other nine-member team which pays its dues in the league, even to the point of sponsoring the season-opening tournament through title sponsor PLDT myDSL.
“That’s just my opinion. Anybody who watched the game who’s not a San Mig fan probably feels the same way. In the fourth quarter, the game wasn’t called correctly,” he said.
“I don’t understand why they had to change the calls in the fourth quarter. Maybe the commissioner can explain it to me after he fines me but I still stand by what I said,” stressed a disappointed Black.
“It (bad calls) should not happen. Talk ‘N Text is just like any team in this league. It pays its dues, it invests in the league. I believe this (conference) is called PLDT (myDSL) isn’t it? Talk ‘N Text supports the league 100 percent so I think at the very least, we should get a fair call in the fourth quarter of a knockout game.”
“There’s nothing the refs can say to me to debate that. The evidence is there, they can go home and watch (the tape) if they want.”