SAN Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone believes the referees' failure to control the match between his team and Globalport led to the third-quarter melee on Wednesday night at the Astrodome.
Cone stressed game officials allowed too many physical contacts between import Marcus Blakely and Marvin Hayes, reaching a point where Blakely’s act of pulling down Hayes with him to the floor at the 3:11 mark of the third quarter triggered the melee.
“I may be in trouble for this, but I felt it was the fault and … because they (referees) they didn’t make calls three or four times that Marvin and Marqus fell to the floor. They lost control of the game there,” lamented the league’s second winningest coach.
“It happened once, they didn’t make the call. It happened a second time they didn’t call, third and fourth time, they still didn’t call. So they didn’t take control right away.”
Although the Mixers went on to win the game, 102-88, Cone admitted he’s bracing for the worst as key player Marc Pingris was thrown out along with Globalport’s Kelly Nabong for exchanging blows at the height of the fracas.
“That was an eventful game,” said Cone with a worried look on his face. “I’m worried that we may have won the battle but lost the war. We will see what the repercussions of all these ends up at Commissioner’s Office.”
The San Mig coach said the incident might hurt his team in the long run due to the possible suspension that might be slapped on Pingris, who already has a double-double when he was tossed out.
Pingris, Nabong, Blakely, Hayes and San Mig’s Joe DeVance are set to appear before league commissioner Chito Salud on Thursday to air their side of the incident.