VETERAN supervisor of referees Romy Guevarra on Monday said he was only standing up for his referees when he confronted Letran coach Louie Alas over his slit-throat gesture near the end of Game Two of the NCAA basketball finals on Saturday night.
Guevarra, a games official for the last 40 years and the PBA’s supervisor of referees for 14 years, charged towards the Letran bench and was seen giving Alas the dirty finger before being led out of the court as the final seconds ticked away in Letran’s 62-55 victory over San Beda.
The 75-year-old said it was unfortunate that he failed to control his emotions, but admitted feeling so bad after Alas made the slit-throat gesture in the direction of Guevarra and technical committee member Bai Cristobal after being slapped a technical in the third quarter.
“Kung may nagawa man akong mali, hindi ko sinasadya,” the veteran games official told Spin.ph. “Masamang-masama ang loob ko. Sabi ko nga, ‘Bakit mo kami ginaganoon?’ Masyado n’ya kaming minaliit. Nirerespeto namin s’ya, sana respetuhin n’ya rin kami.
“Sa tanda kong ito, wala akong ginagawan na masama. Kami nga ni (Commissioner) Joe (Lipa), ayaw naman sana namin ang trabaho na ito, gusto lang naming makatulong sa basketball at sa liga. Kaso, binastos n’ya kami.”
More than anything else, Guevarra said he wanted to stand by his referees, who he had personally handpicked and trained over the past two years. He said he can vouch for the integrity of the officials in the face of insinuations made by Alas during the game that they had been bought.
“Mga batang referee ang mga ito, mga wala pang tahid. Mga honest ang mga ito. Kaya ganoon na lang ang kagustuhan kong manindigan para sa kanila. Kung hindi, baka maduwag na ang mga ‘yan,” he said.
Despite the controversy, the well-respected Guevarra, who has refereed over 3,000 games and overseen an estimated 17,000 matches in a career that brought him to places like Qatar and Bahrain, assured that officiating will be fair in the deciding Game Three of the Finals.
“Wala akong galit kay Louie, wala akong galit sa Letran,” he said. “Despite ng nangyari, parehas pa rin kami. Kung may mali man, sinisigurado kong hindi sinasadya ‘yon.”