GLOBALPORT Batang Pier team owner Mikee Romero has asked the PBA to suspend, atleast for this conference, all three referees who handled - or according to him mishandled - the team's highly physical Philippine Cup game against Kia Sorento last Tuesday.
The businessman-sportsman was left fuming by what he said was the "lenient" approach of the referees after KIA forward Chad Alonzo shoved GlobalPort rookie Anthony Semerad and hit him not once but at least four times with an elbow during a scuffle.
Incensed that the referees called no more than a double technical in the play, Romero has sent his entire coaching staff on Thursday morning to the PBA office to raise the matter before league officials.
“We will not take this sitting down. Masyadong nakawawa ang player namin. If you will only review the video makikita niyo na intentional talaga yung ginawa kay Semerad,” said BJ Manalo, Globalport’s head of basketball operations.
“Hindi lang naman isa o dalawang siko tumama sa ulo ni Anthony. Apat yun. Bilangin niyo. Hindi pwedeng sabihin na hindi sadya 'yun. Player ko din dati si Chad. Pero dapat banned ang mga player na gumagawa ng ganun,” added Manalo.
PBA media bureau chief Willie Marcial has told Spin.ph that Commissioner Chito Salud is set to review the video of the incident and hinted that veteran referee Art Herrera and sophomore officials Dacz Dacanay and Bing Oliva are facing heavy sanctions.
The initial technical on Alonzo is likely to be upgraded to flagrant foul penalty 1, he added.
But Romero apparently wants more.
Romero claimed he felt the compassion for his player upon seeing the bruises and the boxer’s lump on the forehead of the good-looking Semerad right after the game.
A black belter, the Sultan 900 Incorporated president bared he advised Semerad not to sleep the night after the game so as to avoid complications in the event of a concussion.
“Parang boxer talaga na hindi namin pinatulog si Anthony. Kasi lamog ang ulo niya eh. Nabagok talaga. Ako martial artists ako, kaya alam ko ang pwedeng damage na dala nung ginawa ni Chad,” he said.
“Napa-CT scan na namin siya and he is still being observed,” Romero declared.
The outspoken team owner also questioned the inconsistent officiating especially on the issue of physicality.
“Bakit ganun? Pag siniko mo sa ulo ng ilang beses 'yung kalaban mo, technical lang 'yun? Pag nasundot mo o nakanti lang, F1 o F2. Pwede ka pang ma-thrown out? Ewan ko ba,” he said.
The longtime basketball patron also stressed that if no harsh penalties are handed out to the three erring refs, he has already advised the team's alternate governor, Erick Arejola, to elevate the matter to the board.
“Hindi ko to tatantanan. Hindi porket nanalo kami sa game na 'yun, hahayaan na namin ang mga ganyan. Delikado sa buhay ng mga players yan. Magkaka-precedent yan,” said Romero.
“Kung lumabas ang desisyon at pakiramdam ko hindi sapat, i-a-akyat namin ito sa board,” added the Air Asia part-owner.
“Hindi sapat ang suspension dyan. Dapat ma-ban ang mga yan.”
For podcast of Mikee Romero interview, click here: