FAR Eastern University coach Olsen Racela lamented the officiating decisions that he felt impacted his team's progress in its 73-70 loss to University of the Philippines on Tuesday in the UAAP men's basketball tournament.
"It's just unfair na we did not get the calls in the end," he rued.
"I felt may mga fouls kay Emman [Ojuola], actually ilang games na puro hawak. Emman is one of the best guys na nagsi-seal but they're not giving him enough credit. Ang daming hawak kay Emman na hindi tinatawag."
Ojuola finished with 16 points, 14 rebounds, and two blocks, but Racela felt that the Nigerian should've gotten more called in his favor, much more than the seven fouls he drew.
He even got whistled for a technical foul with 4:08 remaining in the nip-and-tuck finish as he argued Ricci Rivero travelled before giving UP a 67-64 lead.
"Yung sequence na yun: hinawakan si Emman tapos nag-travel si Ricci Rivero. In a crucial situation at pag dikitan, one call or one non-call can make or break the game for us and that's what happened," he argued.
Racela struggled to hide his frustrations, all the more with FEU stumbling to its third straight loss to sink further to a 3-6 card this UAAP Season 84.
"Hindi kami makakuha ng fair shake sa mga tawag eh. They have to be more consistent," he said. "Kawawa naman si Emman eh. Napaka-pasensyoso ni Emman but hindi siya natatawagan ng fouls. Sinasabihan ko siya na ibibigay din yang tawag na yan pero so far, wala kaming nakukuhang tawag sa mga hawak sa kanya."
As frustrating as this recent stretch is, Racela knows that there's no time to mope as FEU shifts its attention to NU — one he branded as a crucial game for the Tamaraws' flailing Final Four hopes.
"Ganoon pa man, I'm just proud of the way we fought today. We move on and crucial game for us is actually the one on Thursday against NU," he said. "NU ang hinahabol namin. So yun ang kailangan namin paghandaan. We have five more games left, so matagal pa pero yun nga, crucial is the one on Thursday."
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