Nash Racela relieved 'game-changing' inadvertent whistle in first half didn't cost TNT the win
Nash Racela stormed the court after an inadvertent whistle led to an uncontested slam for SMB's Arwind Santos in what was a tightly contested first half. Jaime Campos

NOT even a Game Four victory that tied the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals at two games on Wednesday night could keep TNT coach Nash Racela from airing his thoughts on what sounded like an inadvertent whistle in the first half that briefly turned the momentum in favor of San Miguel Beer.

Racela was adamant of hearing a whistle after Kelly Williams went for a drive in the second quarter and tried to draw a foul on Alex Cabagnot, who ended up with the leather.

After seeing the referees let them play on, Cabagnot caught the TNT defense napping and threw a long pass to Arwind Santos, who threw down his trademark Spiderman dunk that gave them a 42-41 lead with a little less than five minutes remaining in the second quarter.

Team governor Pato Gregorio and manager Virgil Villavicencio went as far as approaching the technical committee after the halftime buzzer sounded to question the matter.

[See TNT rides inspired soon-to-be dad Smith to frustrate SMB, tie PBA Finals at 2-2]

Asked by veteran scribes during the post-game conference for his comment on the incident, Racela simply wished the officials would’ve at least halted play.

 “I don’t know how you do that eh. Sa aking pagkakaalam – I don’t know, I will ask them – if there’s an inadvertent whistle, habulin mo dapat and not let them have the two points na makaka-dunk pa sila,” Racela said. “Because it’s a game-changer.”

“I understand, sometimes, referees would commit mistakes intentional or not. But, kung nagkamali ka na, correct the issue,” he added. “We heard it (whistle) from the other side eh, in a noisy coliseum. Eh ‘di habulin mo na lang and not give them the two points. I don’t know what he was thinking.”

The Texters kept their emotions in check in the second half and held on for 102-97 win to reduce the series into a best-of-three.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos