MERALCO coach Ryan Gregorio claimed San Mig import Marqus Blakely should have been whistled for a foul when he came from behind to try and block Meralco reinforcement Mario West’s last-second three-point attempt on Friday’s game.
Instead of West trooping to the foul line, the no call allowed San Mig Coffee to escape with an 88-87 win and, more importantly, grab the second seeding going to the PBA Governors Cup quarterfinals.
“I thought I saw a foul. It was the guide hand (of West that was hit),” Gregorio told Spin.ph after the Bolts dropped to 5-4 (win-loss), in the company of idle Rain or Shine.
[For full game story, see High five for San Mig as Barroca, Blakely step up in helter-skelter finish]
Gregorio, a three-time PBA champion coach, appealed to the league for fairness in officiating, saying inconsistencies in the implementation of the league guidelines on officiating are runing the games.
“We’re not getting it (endgame foul); other teams are getting it. I’m just concerned with the guidelines, whether you’re a popular team team or unpopular team, a foul is a foul,” the outspoken coach said, referring to Barangay Ginebra’s controversial 101-100 win over Rain or Shine last week which it won on Mac Baracel's late free throws.
“I’m just batting for following the guidelines because if you mess up with the shooter, you have to call it the same way Ginebra got it (the foul),” explained Gregorio.
“Mario was so infuriated that I had to calm him down because he was so trusting on the guidelines being followed by the refs. But the question was, ‘Was there a contact?’ There was. ‘Was it supposed to be called?’ I believe it should be.”