RONNIE Magsanoc, the San Beda coach, would rather not wade into whatever issue Finals opponent Letran has with the NCAA technical committee.
The Red Lions are completely focused on one goal – a third straight men’s basketball title.
“I think it’s not our concern. Labas kami doon. I just like to only focus on things that we have control of,” Magsanoc said during a break in the Red Lions' practice on Wednesday afternoon practice less than 48 hours before they meet the Knights again in a winner-take-all showdown for the championship of the league’s 88th season.
As San Beda went about by its routine preparing for the deciding Game Three of the title series on Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, Letran found itself embroiled in a controversy involving its coach, Louie Alas.
The longtime Knights mentor came under fire for the infamous `slit-throat’ gesture he made at the height of Saturday’s Game Two of the Finals in a move indicating his team was getting the raw end of the referees’ bad calls.
The bold action earned him a heavy reprimand from the NCAA management committee, which demanded both a public and written apology from Alas lest he be suspended for the most important game of the season.
A similar demand was made on the league's referees’ supervisor, the veteran Romy Guevarra, for charging towards the Letran bench in the final seconds of the Knights’ 64-55 win, while flashing a dirty finger at Alas.
In the midst of these confusion, Magsanoc had his Red Lions focused on their preparations and motivated for the big task at hand.
“We just want to simplify things and get on with our preparations, no more, no less,” said the former San Beda Red Cubs star.
Magsanoc also remained non-committal when asked if the distraction on Letran’s part tilted the balance in San Beda’s favor.
“As I’ve said, I’d just like to focus on things that only concern us, that’s all,” he repeated.
The San Beda coach likewise stayed positive as far as officiating in the Finals is concerned, although that didn’t necessarily mean the Red Lions are not the recipient of bad calls themselves.
“We’d rather put it in a manner na kung ang mga players nagkakamali, sila rin namang mga referees nagkakamali rin,” said Magsanoc, voted as one of the 25 Greatest Players in the history of the PBA.
The Game Two loss hardly sidetracked the Red Lions, according to Magsanoc, as they gun for a record 17th league championship.
“I’d like to believe we’re on the right track. We’re battle-ready,” he said.