COACHES of both Rain or Shine and San Miguel both raised their concern about the confusing way calls are being made by referees especially in their ongoing Smart Bro-PBA Philippine Cup semifinals series.
Yeng Guiao and Leo Austria aired their misgivings on officiating following what they referred to as puzzling decisions the officials made in Thursday night’s Game Two of the best-of-seven duel.
Notwithstanding the Elasto Painters’ 105-97 win that tied the semifinal series at 1-all, Guiao said he still has no idea on what's a foul - and what's not - in the eyes of the PBA referees.
“I can’t understand really what a foul is and what not a foul is. It’s been how many games now in the conference, and I’m still confused. Hindi mo pa rin matantiya,” the ever vocal coach stated.
“And the players are the same I guess, not only for my team but for both sides.”
Guiao cited an instance when Rain or Shine big man Raymond Almazan was called for a foul over what he said was an obvious flop by San Miguel’s Yancy de Ocampo.
But on more or less the same play involving June Mar Fajardo, no whistle was made, Guiao rued.
“Nung siya (Fajardo) naman ang bumangga, na mas malakas na bangga, hindi naman foul,” Guiao stressed. “So up to now, I don’t know if you understand kung ano yung foul o hindi, pero kami hanggang ngayon nalilito pa rin.”
Guiao and Austria’s qualms on officiating comes just a day after commissioner Chito Narvasa vowed to further improve the condition and status of the league’s pool of referees in light of the controversial missed calls that marred the endgame of the Globalport-Barangay Ginebra quarterfinal playoff.
Austria agreed with Guiao.
“I think coach Yeng is right,” said the San Miguel coach, who was interrupted by chairman Robert Non, the San Miguel board of governor, by saying, "Hindi na siguro ganun ang tawagan next game."
Austria pointed to what he claimed were several travelling violations committed by the Elasto Painters that weren’t called, and at the same time, questioned the backing violation committed by Chris Ross, who he said, was obviously fouled in mid-air by Chris Tiu.
“I cannot correct the calls of the refs, although you still have to give them the benefit of the doubt,” said last year’s Coach of the Year by the PBA Press Corps, adding those missed calls were all ‘breaks of the game.’
“If not for that, it would have really been a tight game, and in a tight game, we could have an advantage kasi we have June Mar,” he said.
The 6-foot-11 Fajardo made a total of 22 attempts from the foul line and made 12 of them, a discrepancy Guiao noted.
“Ganun talaga, alam naman namin wala kaming pang match-up sa kanya (June Mar). Mahirap talagang depensahan especially with the rules now, ang daming maninipis na fouls na tinatawag, kaya kung malaki at malaki ka, ang laking advantage mo. I guess sa free throws lang, ang dami mo ng makukuha,” said Guiao.
“So before the game starts, may plus 10 free throws na si June Mar against us. And I think that’s a disadvantage for us.”
The four officials who called Game Two were Jimmy Mariano, Emy Tangkion, Noy Guevarra, and Jerry Narandan.