GAME One of the UAAP season 75 Finals is now history. Yet, University of Santo Tomas coach Pido Jarencio is still demanding the same thing he had sought prior to the start of the title series – consistency in officiating.
Jarencio aired his displeasure at the way game officials handled the opener of the best-of-three championship affair, won by Ateneo, 83-78, Saturday at the jampacked Mall of Asia Arena.
“Positive ako sa team dahil binigyan namin ng magandang laro ‘yung Ateneo. Pero bakit naman ganun… Let the players decide (the game). Consistency na naman (ang issue),” said Jarencio, almost pleading his case.
“Never in my seven years na nag-coach na nag-voice out ako against the referees,” said Jarencio.
Prior to the start of the series, Jarencio appealed for officials to call the game fair and square and let the players decide the outcome of the match.
But in his eyes, that obviously didn’t happen, so much so that he nearly had a confrontation with the referees shortly after the game if not for the timely intervention of some of his players.
Following Jarencio’s endgame tirade, the yellow UST gallery furiously jeered the referees, who had to be escorted out by security men of the playing venue.
Commissioner Ato Badalato has yet to make a decision whether a sanction is forthcoming on Jarencio or not.
Jarencio expressed satisfaction at the way his Tigers played, but can’t help but shift the discussion to the way officiating went.
“Hindi na naman patas `yung tawagan,” said Jarencio, who seemed to have finally regained his composure when he faced the media for the customary post-game interview.
“Sobra `yung ginawa nila kay Karim at Kevin.”
Jarencio was referring to UST big man Karim Abdul and forward Kevin Ferrer, who were both saddled with fouls that obviously affected their game in more ways than one.
Abdul, who finished runner-up in the MVP race, fouled out with 30 seconds remaining in the game with only nine points to his name.
Ferrer, on the other hand, finished with 13 points but had four fouls in the game as the Tigers missed their best defender inside for most part of the game.
“Lumamang pa kami ng isa, lamang sila ng sampu, hindi sila bumitaw. Saan mo hahanapin yung mga ganung players?” said Jarencio.
There’s one good thing going for the Tigers though.
They are in the same situation as they were during the 2006 Finals against Ateneo, losing Game One only to sweep the remaining two games of the series to win the championship.
Jarencio has no other recourse but to relive that same magic six years ago.
“Ano pa gagawin namin kundi bumawi,” he said.