UNIVERSITY of the East coach Derrick Pumaren hit out at the referees for calling a disqualifying foul on Will Bartolome which, he believed, cost the Red Warriors the game against Far Eastern University.
The Red Warriors gathered momentum in their comeback bid at the 1:29-mark of the fourth quarter when Clark Derige hit a three-point shot to cut FEU's lead to three points, 62-59.
The referees, however, blew a whistle on Bartolome while he and Ron Dennison were jockeying for position for the rebound and Dennison later falling to the floor.
After a video review, Bartolome was ejected for elbows to Dennison's shoulder and head.
Pumaren, however, disagreed with the call, saying Bartolome should not have been called with a disqualifying foul, adding the call was the reason for the Red Warriors’ defeat.
“That was the turning point,” said a disappointed Pumaren. “We lost because of that, I can tell you right now.”
[See FEU gets back on track]
Pumaren said Bartolome was only boxing out the smaller Dennison and didn’t intentionally elbow the FEU guard.
“You saw the tape. He (Bartolome) is 6-6. Tatamaan niya sa shoulder because he is just boxing out. He didn’t even elbow him. I don’t know why they called a disqualifying foul,” said Pumaren.
Pumaren questioned why referees initially called a regular foul but later changed it to a disqualifying foul after the video review.
“I don’t know what transpired when they watched it. They changed it to a disqualifying foul. That means that the call was changed. They should run the show. They should not go to the table and say disqualifying foul. Unang tawag mo, foul na ‘yun,” said Pumaren.
Pumaren said the referees should have let the players decide the match with the outcome still hanging in the balance.
“I think they should let us play. That’s all I’m asking for. We were still down by three, let them play. You called a disqualifying foul, that was two shots and ball possession. That’s four points, that’s the ballgame,” said Pumaren.
Pumaren added he does not encourage dirty acts.
“Kung siniko niya, hindi naman ako magco-complain. You never hear me complain but I saw it in the screen. Hindi naman siniko. That was a big call. That was a big change of call, I should say,” Pumaren said.