Tim Cone, Leo Austria refuse to dwell on officiating after wild Ginebra-SMB endgame
This foul called on Chris Ross against a driving Justine Brownlee came under scrutiny late in Ginebra's win over San Miguel on Sunday night. Jaime Campos

TIM Cone and Leo Austria refused to dwell on the officiating after the heated PBA Commissioner’s Cup game between Barangay Ginebra and San Miguel Beer on Sunday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Both coaches agreed the outcome of the match which the Kings won, 107-99, wasn't decided by the referees, even if a number of calls were questioned by both camps when the Beermen were making a furious rally from 20 points down.

“Officiating is officiating. I don’t worry about it anymore,” said Cone afterwards when asked about the matter. “I don’t focus on it, I don’t think about it, I don’t complain about it.”

Austria echoed Cone's words.

“Given na yan. Judgment nila 'yan. So for me it’s always part of the game,” Austria said.

[See Ginebra regains composure in time to hold off SMB]

Officials were put on the spot anew after fans argued about the foul called on Chris Ross off import Justine Brownlee in the final two minutes of the game and San Miguel trailing, 93-90.

Had Brownlee been whistled for an offensive foul, the Ginebra import would have already gone to the shower. Instead, he was awarded two free throws to make it a five-point Kings lead that stopped the rallying Beermen on their tracks.

“Napunta sa kanila yung breaks,” admitted Austria. “But what can I do? Hindi naman puwedeng maglupasay ako doon.”

“You cannot blame them (referees). Judgment nila yan, e. I cannot change the call of the referees. Kung tama ka or mali sila, you cannot change them.”

Cone, who had been vocal about officiating in the past, has come to accept officiating – both good and bad – in the 27 years that he had been coaching in the league. And Sunday night’s game was no exception.

“Referees are necessary evil. If it’s a perfect world, we would call our own fouls, and we would be honest about it,” he said.

“But we need someone to arbitrate, to step out there and do it,” added the Ginebra mentor. “It’s not something I dwell on or worry about coz as it turns out, it evens out.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos