JOSHUA Smith said his fine won’t keep his mouth shut, but he’s also letting his actions do the talking as he anchors TNT KaTropa in its bid to drag the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals against San Miguel Beer to a deciding game.
The Texters import incurred a P30,000 fine for his comments about the officiating in their Game Five loss on Friday night that officials said were 'detrimental to the league.'
“It’s not the first time I’ve been fined. This probably won’t be the last,” Smith said in a short chat with SPIN.ph after practice on the eve of Game Six that tips off at 6:30 p.m. “They can fine me and that’s still not going to stop me from talking.”
TNT coach Nash Racela agreed with his hulking import’s statements regarding the referees.
“I just feel that Joshua had a point in saying that,” the outspoken coach said. “The San Miguel defenders were very physical against Joshua and there were a lot of non-calls which I think contributed to the frustrations of Joshua.”
“’Di naman pader import namin; tao din yun,” he added. “Parang pader kung tratuhin ng officials eh.”
But with their backs against the wall, Smith would rather focus on putting up another solid performance – instead of dwelling on outside factors – for the Texters to stay alive and tie the best-of-seven series at three games apiece.
“My comments about the refs have nothing to do with the game,” the 6-foot-9 import said. “Tomorrow’s still a hard-fought game. We’re playing a good team and it’s a do-or-die game for us tomorrow, so we got to win.”
In Game Five, Smith registered 15 points after making all his seven shots, on top of seven rebounds, four assists, and one block in 28 minutes in his second start this series.
But the TNT import committed a team-high-tying five of the Texters’ 24 turnovers compared to SMB’s 14 errors.
“We just can’t beat ourselves,” Smith said. “They’re a really good team and they’re one of those teams where if you turn the ball over and you make mistakes, they capitalize on it, so that’s one thing we got to do.”
“We got to make sure that we limit our mistakes and that will give us a good chance of winning,” he added.