Adjustment to officiating - not special treatment from refs - key to SMB win, says Austria
SMB coach Leo Austria is quick to belie TNT counterpart Nash Racela's claim that the Beermen sought - and got - special treatment from the referees in Game Four. Jerome Ascano

LEO Austria shrugged off accusations San Miguel sought and got special treatment from the referees in a Game Four win over TNT KaTropa just for being the reigning PBA Philippine Cup champions.

All the Beermen did in the 97-86 win was adjust to the officiating, stay focused, and just play their game, according to head coach Leo Austria.

“We have to adjust and we have to remain composed because sometimes affected tayo nung nangyayari sa court,” Austria said when asked about his opinion on officiating in the best-of-seven series that is currently tied at 2-2.

TnT Katropa counterpart Nash Racela felt the Beermen received favorable calls on Valentine’s Days after Chris Ross and Marcio Lassiter stressed the team is entitled to such treatment being the two-time defending all-Filipino Cup champions.

Racela believes respect is earned - and not demanded.

 “If you want to do something, you demand the right calls from the referees. If you win by getting the right calls, if you lose by getting the right calls, then tanggapin natin, but don’t demand for some special treatment,” he said.

“Sa aking standard, that is wrong.”

[See TNT coach feels SMB got 'special treatment' it sought from refs]

But Austria is not in the business of engaging Racela in a ‘war of words.’ He said referees’ calls, whether good or bad, are all part of the game and it’s just a matter of whether the team gets affected or not.

“Just like the last game (Game Three), there were a lot of miscalls, non-calls, bad calls na nangyari,” he admitted about the Game Three loss by the Beermen, 98-92.

“But we treat that as part of the game, breaks of the game,” he said. “It (officiating) didn’t go to our side, but that’s part of basketball.”


The Beermen and the Texters will try to break the tie on Thursday when Game Five of the series is played on Thursday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos