LARRY Fonacier is not about to allow one crucial call to break him and the entire TnT Katropa apart.
The veteran gunner has put behind him the Game Four loss suffered by the Texters, including the uproar over the way defending champion San Miguel got the better end of officiating in their PBA Philippine Cup semifinal encounter on Tuesday night.
The 34-year-old wingman had his best game in the best-of-seven series on Valentine’s Day when he finished with a team-high 15 points, only to see the effort go down the drain after the Texters absorbed a 97-86 loss at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Worse, Fonacier was whistled for a rare technical foul for ‘disrespectfully addressing the referee’ just when the fourth-seeded team was at the height of a furious fourth-quarter rally.
But Fonacier keeps a positive outlook despite the loss heading into Thursday’s Game Five at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. The best-of-seven series is tied at 2-2.
“We just have to play our best. Things we can’t control, we can’t do anything about it,” said Fonacier when asked about his take on officiating.
Fonacier’s coach Nash Racela was adamant in his belief about game officials giving the Beermen the leeway during Game Four after demanding what they referred to as ‘respect befitting the defending champions.'
Fonacier would rather focus on the remaining games ahead, especially now that he finally got untracked in the series after making six of 10 shots from the field, including three of five from three-point range.
“I just want to keep my confidence and help my teammates run the series,” he stressed. “Whatever happens, we’re gonna need every ounce of it against this team, so I just try to do that.”
As to the technical foul slapped on him, the usually cool player said he was actually just showing to the referee what happened in the sequence between him and Marcio Lassiter.
“I just want to show the ref what happened. Maybe he didn’t see it. That call has been consistent the whole conference, so I was just wondering why it wasn’t called, so that’s how it is,” he said.
RR Garcia proceeded to sink the technical free throw to give San Miguel an 86-74 lead with 6:11 remaining.
Prior to the call, Fonacier just hit his third and final trey for the night to make it 83-74.
“The technical helped….I don’t know,” he said. “I think the momentum went to our side for a while. It’s just a little too late. We hurt ourselves early in the game.”