JUST minutes after a painful Game Seven loss led to yet another runner-up finish for Rain or Shine on Wednesday night, Yeng Guiao gathered his players inside the dugout for a short talk then left the Smart Araneta Coliseum well ahead of the others, not wanting to say anything more about the match.
"Mainit pa kasi ang ulo ko, baka ano pa masabi ko," said Guiao, who nonetheless was forced to say a few words when Spin.ph and another writer caught up with him on his way out of the Big Dome.
It didn't work.
The morning after, Guiao still can't hold his tongue, apparently still steaming over several questionable calls and non-calls by the referees which he felt ruined the first Game Seven in PBA Finals history to go to two overtimes.
"That game became a classic and became the first Game Seven to go into two overtimes because of the effort of the two teams," said the outspoken coach. "Sadly, from an officiating standpoint, the referees were not up to the standards of that game.
"For posterity's sake, when people look back and see replays of this game, it will serve as a classic example of how badly handled officiating in the league is right now."
Without much effort, Guiao rattled off several calls which he said officials either got wrong or failed to call in a game that was decided by two points, from the Ivan Johnson elbow to Paul Lee's neck during a loose ball scramble to the no-call of Ranidel de Ocampo's hack on a driving Beau Belga.
There too, he claimed, was the referees' mishandling of Johnson's bloody elbows and jersey, a sneak punch de Ocampo allegedly threw at Jonathan Uyloan and the refs' seeming hesitation to call a backcourt violation on de Ocampo during a crucial moment in the home stretch.
As a result, the questionable calls cast a 'cloud of doubt' on the game, Guiao said.
"Talk 'N Text didn't need the help of the referees to win. But bad officiating cast a cloud of doubt on this game," Guiao said. "It was unfair to the fans of Talk 'N Text, unfair to the fans of Rain or Shine and unfair to the game."