AFTER the foul-fest that was Game Two, which saw Petron slapped with 33 fouls and San Mig Coffee with 18, Mixers coach Tim Cone has one piece of advice for the Blaze Boosters.
If you don't want to commit more fouls, then stop fouling Marqus Blakely.
“Well, my response to Petron’s complaints about the calls of the referees is, 'Do us a favor and quit fouling Marqus every time to put him on the line,'” said Cone, who goes for a 2-1 series lead in their PBA Governors Cup Finals on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Game time is at 8 p.m.
The Mixers knotted the series with their 100-93 Game Two win on Sunday, which saw Cone’s boys attempt 55 times from the foul line. But Cone pointed out that Petron's strategy was no different from Meralco, which employed the 'Hack-a-Marq' gambit on the way to losing their semifinal series.
“It was the same complaint in our Meralco series. But if you’re going to continue to foul Marqus as a strategy and put him on the line and put yourself in early penalty, then expect a lot of free throws,” explained the San Mig coach.
Cone said they have no intention of fouling any of the Petron players every game, considering that the Boosters are fairly good at free throws.
“In all honesty, we’d prefer to shoot less free throws. But saying you got 31 free throws and that’s not enough, then how many do you want? We’re certainly not trying to foul anyone on their team. They shoot the free throws too well,” he added.
Petron rookie coach Gee Abanilla had earlier expressed his displeasure over the way officiating went in Game Two, which saw them lose three key players in the final stretch of the match.
Import Elijah Millsap, newly-named Best Player of the Conference awardee Arwind Santos and June Mar Fajardo were all sent to the showers before the final buzzer, which allowed the Mixers to escape with the seven-point win.
“I’m still hopeful we could adjust to the calls of the referees in this series. And we shouldn’t be affected by it,” Abanilla said.
Even Santos said they would rather focus on regaining momentum in the series after that Game Two meltdown in the end.
“Kailangan na lang makalimot sa nangyari sa Game Two. Sabi rin ng mga coaches na sila na bahala sa officiating para mas maka-focus lang kami sa paglalaro,” the 6-foot-4 Petron veteran forward said.