LETRAN coach Caloy Garcia lamented over the officiating in the huge loss to San Beda, pointing to a crucial foul in the second quarter that the Knights coach felt triggered a series of unfortunate events and eventually a loss to the league leaders.
The Knights were trailing, 18-31, when Kevin Racal buried a left-corner triple and drew contact with less than a minute to go before halftime in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament on Saturday.
But an official blew his whistle against Racal and waived his conversion after his foot grazed defender JP Mendoza while the former was on his way down from the attempt.
That infuriated Racal and Garcia and got them whistled for a technical foul each, leading to four converted charities by San Beda.
What could’ve been just a 10-point deficit grew to 17 points in a flash. The Knights lost, 44-73.
“Definitely, it affected me and also the players,” a mild-mannered Garcia told Spin.ph after the game. “We were catching up already. Medyo the momentum shifted to our side. Then I don’t know what the referee was thinking to call that as an offensive foul.”
“At tsaka, according sa rules, they should’ve at least counted the basket… kung tama man sila,” he added as the ball was out of Racal’s hands when he was called for the infraction.
Garcia also said he doesn’t understand why Racal was assessed a technical foul for complaining.
“Yung kay K-Racs nga hindi ko alam bakit tinawagan ng technical. Ano naman ginawa niya to get a technical? Ako, oo, nag-mura ako eh. Pero yung kay K-Racs, hindi ko maintindihan.”
“So nagpatong-patong na. Malaki talaga yung tawag na yun,” Garcia said, adding his team received the short end of the officiating stick the entire game.
“I felt there were lots of missed calls on our side and there were a lot of calls given to them (Lions),” he said. “Buong season naman, wala pa kaming nakukuhang break from the referees.”
The Knights, who dropped to a 6-8 win-loss card, need to sweep their last four games and hope for team above them to lose some of theirs to stay in the hunt.
“But we’re not taking anything away from San Beda. They really played well today. They deserved the win,” Garcia said. “We just have to learn from this. We should focus more on the game than complain.”