A 'CHEAP shot' by Air21 big man Rob Reyes at Alaska rookie sensation Calvin Abueva which the referees failed to spot on Wednesday night has earned the ire of Aces team owner Wilfred Uytengsu, who said the team will be filing a formal complaint before the Commissioner's Office.
Uytengsu was shown on television livid at courtside after witnessing the play, which saw Reyes hit Abueva square in the face with an open hand while the two tried to get up following a wild loose ball scramble at mid-court late in the Express' 104-103 win at the Big Dome.
The referees completely missed the play.
"Absolutely," Uytengsu told Spin.ph when asked if it was a cheap shot. "And we will be filing a complaint."
Uytengsu hit out at the league for failing to police what he felt was a pattern of attacks on 'The Beast' meant to unsettle a talented rookie who had earned a reputation in college for his short fuse.
League sources said Commissioner Chito Salud has already ordered technical officials to review videos of the play first thing on Thursday.
Uytengsu said it was the second time Abueva found himself at the receiving end of a foul blow, pointing out a Yancy de Ocampo elbow which likewise hit the mark in the Aces' game against San Mig Coffee on Saturday night in Lapu-Lapu City. The Alaska owner saw both plays from ringside.
"I need to defend my players," the Alaska owner said. "If the PBA (officials) can't do their job, they need to be called out."
Uytengsu said pro ballclubs are obviously trying to get Abueva's goat and "trying to get him to retaliate," with little success.
Abueva, who finished the game with 17 points and 10 rebounds despite picking up his fourth foul three minutes into the second quarter, was left shaken in the play but surprisingly did not react.
"Teams are obviously trying to get him to retaliate and so far he has been a model player," Uytengsu said of Abueva.