YENG Guiao was left fuming over the non-call on San Mig's Marc Pingris, who bumped Paul Lee just as the Rain or Shine sophomore guard was going for a last-second three-pointer as time expired.
Guiao came charging into the technical official’s table as he demanded an explanation on why a foul wasn’t slapped on Pingris, allowing San Mig to pull off a 104-101 come-from-behind victory.
“I just thought Paul got fouled (in) the last play,” Guiao said after the game. “It was the three-point shot that would've given us a chance to tie the game and at least going for overtime.”
Guiao's claim was backed by former PBA technical chief Perry Martinez, who said he believed a foul should have been called on the play since Pingris jumped toward Lee while trying to stop the shot.
Martinez said he based his opinion on the principle of verticality.
The fiery Rain or Shine mentor said he expects the title series to be close but appealed for fairness in officiating as the team looks to stop San Mig's quest for a grand slam.
“This is going to be a close series. It's going to be (marked by) close games but if the referees don't do their job as they're supposed to, I think it really diminishes the beauty of the series,” rued the 55-year-old coach.
Now down 0-1 in the series, Guiao said they will just have to put behind them this painful series-opening loss and try to redeem themselves in Game Two come Thursday.
“We'll just have to put this (loss) behind us,” said Guiao.
Meantime, San Mig coach Tim Cone said Rain or Shine’s “non-call” in the endgame reminded him of his own “dark episode” during his long coaching stint with Alaska.
“I remember, when we were playing Purefoods (now San Mig) back when Ryan (Gregorio) was the coach, Kerby (Raymundo) up-faked on a three-point shot. They (referees) gave him the call, and he made two out of three (free throws) with no time left,” recalled the multi-titled Mixers coach.
“I remember being really angry about that (call). But what comes around, goes around. We just got the advantage this time around,” he said.
“But I don’t know if there was a foul, I was too far away from the play.”