ALASKA coach Luigi Trillo said Calvin Abueva was a target of "hit men" in Game One. Meralco counterpart Ryan Gregorio maintains the celebrated rookie was simply 'flopping a lot."
The Aces freshman's rugged, foul-plagued performance in the PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinal opener between the two teams on Wednesday drew contrasting takes from the rival coaches - and sparked debate on whether Abueva indeed deserved the fouls, both for and against him, called by the referees.
After a night that saw Abueva held to just 15 minutes on the floor before fouling out with a good nine minutes and 46 seconds left in the game, Trillo complained that Abueva has become the target of defenders who deliberately provoke the volatile rookie.
“I thought Calvin’s three fouls were silly. They were intentionally bumping Calvin, but it seems like he’s getting called for the double fouls. I think that should be a let go,” said Trillo.
Gregorio, however, insisted the referees simply had to make those calls against Abueva, whom he said was “flopping a lot” during the series opener.
“He (Abueva) creates contacts. Although he’s tough to match, but the thing is, you just can’t simply call a foul on floppers. I think the referees are observant enough," said Gregorio.
Gregorio insisted the Bolts were able to hold Abueva to just six points and four rebounds on Wednesday, thanks to the diligent eyes of the referees.
"We were able to ground Abueva, thanks to the eyes of the referees," Gregorio said. "Flops have no place in this league.”