TNT coach Nash Racela expressed frustration with the no-calls as Joshua Smith absorbs the hard hits, noting it is a major concern as the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup enters the quarterfinal stage.
“We played almost all of the teams and I realized that at this point, Joshua Smith is the biggest player in the tournament right now. I think at this point, it's becoming — the way I see it — it's becoming a weakness because he's not getting the fouls and the calls he should be getting," he said.
For a guy as wide as Smith, the TNT coach believes that the import should be drawing a lot of fouls for all the hits he's taken.
“As a team, we would want to take advantage of that size, use that to our advantage like how San Miguel does with June Mar (Fajardo) in an all-Filipino tournament. When you have a big guy like that, you use that to your advantage,” he said.
In TNT's win over Meralco on Friday, Smith logged nearly 20 minutes but drew only one foul.
Smith wasn't even able to draw a foul from Arinze Onuaku even after the Meralco reinforcement inadvertently landed an elbow to his nose off a missed hook shot, leaving him bloodied and abruptly ending his night.
He finished with six points, seven rebounds, and two assists in the win as he immediately went straight to Cardinal Santos Medical Center for a suspected broken nose.
Racela won't stay silent anymore for all the wear and tear his import is getting, and hopes that this rant would prompt the officials to take a closer look on the matter.
"I think that's something the referees should look at. He won't lose the ball if the referees are waiting for a lost possession, they won't get it because Josh is really too strong. If they hold on to his arm, even if he takes a shot, they should call a foul as simple as that," he said.
"I'm sure as we play more games and now that we bring it to their attention, they will be able to make their adjustments."