SAN Beda coach Boyet Fernandez is calling for fair officiating ahead of the Red Lions’ NCAA men’s basketball Finals against the Arellano Chiefs starting on Monday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Not even a Final Four victory by the four-time reigning champions against University of Perpetual Help on Wednesday could keep Fernandez from being critical of the referees’ calls, specifically during a third-quarter meltdown that saw the Altas outscore the Red Lions, 26-11, to make the game interesting after a disappointing first half.
So it turns out its’ not only Altas coach Aric del Rosario and his players who are complaining.
“I don’t want to criticize the refs, but if you look at the game, we went into penalty with still seven minutes left in the third,” rued Fernandez.
“We’re just playing defense,” he was quick to add. “Even (league commissioner) coach Bai (Cristobal) knows that. He’s a defensive coach. So he knows what we’re doing on defense.”
“But again, I don’t want to blame the referees. Credit to Perpetual for making a comeback, but I hope coach Bai will see, his referees look at the tape.”
“Just be fair in the Finals,” said the San Beda coach, referring to the officials under the Basketball Referees Association for Schools, Colleges, and Universities.
“People will hate me for this na puro na lang ako complain, but come to think of it, even (Letran) coach Caloy (Garcia) has been complaining,” he added. “I don’t want the referees to hate me going into the Finals. But I hope for fairness in calls and good basketball.”
Arellano counterpart Jerry Codiñera, on the other hand, has a different point of view.
“I can say they’re doing a good job. We get a fair share,” the soft-spoken mentor said. “Sometimes there are inconsistencies, but that’s just natural. Human factor yun.”
“Maganda naman yung tawagan,” added the PBA great. “It’s just that mayroon lang talagang incidents na isolated. Pero so far, okay naman. Well under control naman yung situation.”
“We also have a rule na we always play above officiating, because that’s their (referees’) job, kami adapt lang,” Codiñera stressed.
Chiefs center Dioncee Holts echoed his coach’s sentiment.
“It comes with the territory,” the American slotman said. “You can’t really worry about that. You can’t control that. The only thing we control is playing on the court. Whatever happens, happens.”