RAIN or Shine coach Yeng Guiao shot down insinuations that his team benefited from poor officiating in a 102-95 win over Alaska in Game Two of their PBA semifinal series on Saturday.
Guiao said he has always been very vocal in criticizing the game officials whenever he sees some incompetence whether they win in a game or not. In this case, he has found done.
“Ako, very vocal pagdating sa officiating. Kilala niyo ko. Pero in our last two games, where we lost and won, wala kayong narinig sa akin,” said Guiao.
The outspoken Pampanga representative admitted there were still some flaws in the officiating, "but those were mistakes that did not affect the outcome of the game."
“I don’t think officiating was a factor in the determination of the results of the first two games. Wala kayong narinig sa akin tungkol sa officiating. Basta may nakita ako mali, panalo kami or talo, may sinasabi ako,” he said.
“Kita mo sa first game, tambak naman sila (Alaska), nag-rally lang sila. Sa second game, tambak ulit sila, nag-rally ulit sila pero kinapos na sila,” he added.
Guiao was also asked about a tweet of a veteran sports commentator, Ronnie Nathanielsz, about the PBA 'helping' even the series through the officiating to gain more revenue.
“The officiating was horrible, Seems to me the PBA loves to extend series so they could make more money. Disgraceful,” tweeted Nathanielsz on his @ronnathanielsz account.
Guiao, however, begged to disagree.
“Sana may particular na tawag silang masabi na, ‘Ito tatlong mali, pumabor sa inyo,’ kasi kami pwede rin kaming mag point ng tatlong mali na pumabor sa kabila,” said Guiao.
“Mahirap sabihin na may pinaboran. Dapat mayroong instances. Hindi ko ma-ano kung may instance nga na ganun (pumabor sa amin). Kung may particular siya na instance, pwede kong sagutin kung tama o mali,” added the six-time champion coach.
The Rain or Shine mentor even gave a passing mark to the level of officiating in the first two games of the series.
“Generally, patas naman eh. Okay lang naman. Both sides may mali eh. Okay lang kung ganun, ibig sabihin 'nun, talagang nagkakamali lang talaga,” Guiao said.
“Ang mahirap kung masyadong maraming mali sa kabilang side… dun nagkakaroon ng doubts,” he added.
PBA media bureau chief Willie Marcial also came to the defense of league officials, saying it has always been the mandate of Commissioner Chito Salud to reprimand their referees for glaring blunders.
“Pinaparusahan naman namin ang mga 'yan. May review kami after every game. If we see na may mga mali, papatawag agad mga referees tapos isa-sanction. Nababalitaan niyo naman 'yun,” Marcial, revealing how the league has slapped one referee with a conference ban.
“Hindi naman kasi perfect ang mga referees. Kahit saang liga may mga imperfect calls. Tao lang 'rin yang mga 'yan,” added the special assistant to the commissioner.
With the officiating in the San Miguel-Talk 'N Text semifinal series also under fire especially from the Manny V. Pangilinan group, Marcial declared they are now in the process of reviewing the calls from Game Two.
“Nire-review na namin 'yun. Sabi ko nga sa inyo, walang maling tawag ang makakalusot kasi nakabantay lagi ang technical team,” he said.
From the original 16 referees at the start of the conference, Marcial bared only 12 have been given the green light to handle games in the playoffs.