ONE player stood up for PBA referees at a time when suspensions are being meted at them one after the other.
Meralco guard Chris Ross said officiating a game of basketball game is one of the toughest jobs and that players – and coaches too - should sometimes not be too hard on the men in stripes.
“The job of officiating is a tough job. It’s not easy. You can’t fault the referee for missing calls,” said Ross in the aftermath of the Bolts’ dramatic 89-88 win over the Air21 Express on Wednesday night in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
The match was without controversy.
For failing to call a foul on Ross as he tried to run after Air21’s Mike Cortez in the final 10 seconds of the match, referee Peter Balao was slapped a 10-day suspension without pay by the PBA, becoming the latest game official to be banned by the league.
The sequence led to Ross stealing the ball away from Cortez, who fell to the floor, and preserved the Bolts’ one-point lead in the end.
Unknown to many, Ross himself was also at the receiving end of a foul that wasn’t called during the same play as a wayward Cortez elbow caught him in his eyebrow.
“When I came towards Mike, I think he didn’t see me coming and that was when his elbow hit me because he didn’t have control. But by then, there was a cut right in my eyebrow,” Ross recalled to Spin.ph
“It was only when the game was finished and Paul Artadi came to hug me when he told me that I was bleeding.”
But the 6-foot-1 guard who’s turning 28 on Friday, said he didn’t mind Cortez not being called for a foul, and vice versa.
“I was just trying to win the game. And the way I play, if there’s no whistle … you can say it’s a good call here, or a bad call there,” said Ross, whose nasty cut required six stitches to close at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan.
Then again, Ross said people should realize officiating is a thankless job.
“There have been games this conference when we’re on the other side (of the bad calls). And you kind of want the players to decide the game,” he said.
“For these referees, they just have to keep watching films and get better and be able to perfect your craft. That’s just like what players do.”