STAR coach Chito Victolero refused to dwell on the officiating in the endgame of a 105-101 overtime loss to Ginebra in their PBA Governors’ Cup matchup on Sunday night.
Victolero and the rest of the Hotshots could only smile in disbelief over some contentious calls or non-calls that factored in the result of the see-saw battle that saw 29 lead changes and 16 deadlocks.
With the Hotshots down, 90-91, with 52.9 seconds left in regulation, Rafi Reavis drew a foul on Greg Slaughter, but the Ginebra slotman looked like he also committed a goaltending violation on a ball that appeared to have already touched the board.
The refs reviewed the play, but still decided against calling a violation, leaving Reavis to hit two charities instead of a three-point play.
In overtime, the refs called a defensive foul on Hotshots import Malcolm Hill on Joe Devance when it was Paul Lee who appeared to have contact on the Ginebra utility man with 54.9 seconds left.
Finally, Japeth Aguilar looked like he committed an offensive interference violation when he put back Justin Brownlee’s shot that was still inside the cylinder, giving the Gin Kings a two-possession lead that turned out to be the final score with five seconds left.
“Wala na tayong magagawa dun,” Victolero said. “That's breaks of the game. Pag hindi natin makuha yun, move on.”
“Yun yung pinag-uusapan namin na this is the Manila Clasico, whoever controls their emotions, mas mataas ang chance manalo,” he added. “I think both teams na-control naman nila.”
Still, Victolero felt the breaks of the game benefited the Gin Kings as the Hotshots dropped a second straight game after starting the conference with a four-game win streak.
“Sabi ko nga sa mga players ko, it all boils down to the breaks of the game,” Victolero said. “So every possession matters especially sa dulo. I think yung mga breaks like the offensive rebounds ni Japeth at yung mga loose balls hindi namin nakukuha.”
“Happy pa rin ako sa effort at aggressiveness ng mga players ko,” he added. “Yun naman yung pinag-usapan namin e, do your best effort, be aggressive, follow the game plan, we want a close game. 'Yun nga lang, 'yung sa dulo.”