ANOTHER wasted opportunity for Blackwater.
The Elite came within seconds of punching in their first victory in the PBA, but an errant call by referee Peter Balao altered the fortunes of the expansion squad during their Philippine Cup game on Tuesday night against the Meralco Bolts.
The expansion team came roaring back from 18 points down in regulation and had the chance to go for a game winner after Jason Ballesteros grabbed the rebound with 2.2 seconds left and the score tied at 70-all.
However, Balao, who was standing just under the Meralco goal, ignored a timeout sought by Ballesteros and instead called a jump ball as Meralco's Sean Anthony tried to grab the ball from the Blackwater big man's grasp.
Neither team got another attempt in regulation and Meralco rode the heroics of John Wilson in overtime to escape with an 82-75 victory, leaving Blackwater without a win three games into its PBA campaign.
Blackwater coach Leo Isaac later rued the questionable call.
“Kami, we’re hoping only to squeeze in a favorable call from a rebound of Jason Ballesteros na naka-timeout na ang itinawag eh," said the former Ginebra guard.
"Kung naibigay 'yung tamang tawag, we could have possession in the last 2.8 seconds and for the game winner, pero di naibigay sa amin, so we have to contend with playing with our battered players in the extra time.”
Asked if Blackwater intends to appeal its case, Isaac said team officials want to review the game tape first taking corresponding action.
“Team officials were discussing about it (the controversial call) and we’re trying to get a copy of the tape,” he said.
“Marami nagsasabi na obviously, there was a timeout called, but the officials called otherwise. So ganun talaga eh, the other team won’t give you an easy victory,” he added.
“The referees will call what they see, so it’s our opinion that there should be a timeout, but the referee’s opinion is different. Kailangan naming reviewin yung tape.”
The Elite may be 0-3, but it could easily have been the other way around by now.
Blackwater blew a 15-point lead on opening day before bowing to fellow expansion side KIA, 80-66, and let Rain or Shine come back from an 18-point deficit in dropping a 82-75 decision last week.