Nash Racela brushes off Cone defense of free throw discrepancy: 'We were also aggressive'
Nash Racela makes his plea to a referee. Jerome Ascano

THE big discrepancy in free throws raised questions about officiating in the aftermath of Ginebra's 106-103 win over TNT Katropa in Game Three of the PBA Governors' Cup semifinals on Friday.

The Gin Kings were rewarded 43 free throw attempts, while the Texters only had 14 in a match decided by a slim margin and allowed Ginebra to move a win away from a return trip to the finals.

When asked about it after the game, TNT coach Nash Racela flashed a straight face while answering the question with a hint of sarcasm.

"Obviously, it was a perfectly-officiated ball game. You can't really question the obvious," he said. "The refs did their part, did their best, in calling the game. I think all the calls were really nice. They made the right decisions, I think." 

"I don't really question that and I'm happy our players did their best and gave ourselves a chance." 

His counterpart, coach Tim Cone, said the Gin Kings simply came out as the more aggressive team.

"We went to the free throw line a lot because we were aggressive," said Ginebra coach Tim Cone, while also citing 35-18 discrepancy in Game Two which favored the Texters. 

When told about Cone's comment, Racela said the Texters were just as aggressive.

"We were also aggressive today. Glen Rice kept on attacking the basket. I don't know what coach Tim was talking about," he said. 

"Watch the game. We all know why we got a lot of free throws last game, because they really fouled us. I don't know, today, we really fouled them, that's why they got a lot of free throws."

Game Four is on Sunday, 6:30 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, with Racela again expecting a hard-fought battle, regardless of the officiating concerns.

"I think the next game, we will foul them a lot again and they'll get a lot of free throws again. We just have to find ways," he said. 

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