LA Salle coach Aldin Ayo hit out at referees after his complaint about the non-calls on his prized big man Ben Mbala fell on deaf ears in a highly physical battle the Archers won over Far Eastern University, 73-67, in the UAAP Season 79 men's basketball tournament on Saturday.
Before the start of the third period, Ayo had already complained about the officiating on Mbala and his wards as he joined a huddle with the game officials and FEU assistant coach Eric Gonzales at center court.
What went on in the lengthy discussion only got Ayo even more miffed.
"I was pissed off on that conversation that we had in the middle of the court before the third quarter started because one of the refs said, 'coach, pag hindi na namin kinaya, tatawagan na namin.' What does that mean?" recalled Ayo, who called out the inconsistency on the calls and pointed out FEU’s physicality on Mbala.
"Sabi ko nga sa refs, patayin na lang nila si Ben e. Kasi anong klaseng foul ang bibigay kay Ben? Malakas katawan nito. Ang gusto nila malakas rin na foul para tumawag ng foul," he added."Kung mahina na player, bigyan mo ng mahina na foul na rin. Pero ibig sabihin uniform ba yun? Dapat uniform tawagan regardless kung malakas o mahina player."
In the end, the first year La Salle mentor was glad to see his wards overcome the Tamaraws, who were in control for the most part of the game.
"Being patient, being resilient. They were leading all the way. They controlled the game. The boys just didn't give up and stuck to the system," he said.
With their Final Four opponent still unknown, Ayo and Archers look to maximize the long break to rest up and prepare.
"Actually isa yun sa mga iniisip ko, ang hirap mag-antay e. Nakakainip pero again we're going to establish our system, going back to the basics, to the small details. We're going to cover them," he said.