LOYOLA Meralco coach Vince Santos expressed disappointment over the Air Force team's behavior as well as the way the referees handled the bruising endgame of their match in the United Football League on Tuesday night at the Emperador Stadium in Taguig.
Tempers flared in the match won by the Sparks, 2-0, when a commotion ensued seven minutes before second-half stoppage time and led to the ejection of the Airmen’s Antonio Albor Jr. and a yellow card to Sparks substitute Jang Joo Wong.
Santos felt the referees could’ve done a better job in handling the situation, accusing the Airmen of hitting one of his players who had just come on.
“Meron kaming player who just came in. Apparently binabatuk-batukan siya so he just turned around and stood his ground,” Santos said.
“I think the referees have to have a better control of the game. Tempers flare because of non-calls or fouls that should be given cards. There (should be) a disciplinary action taken. If not, everyone will think they can get away with everything.”
Santos feels the Airmen’s behavior down the stretch was unbecoming of a military club.
“I think it’s very disappointing to see that they have their management or even coaches entering the field. I’m not sure if that’s the example they want to set. I just feel that them being Air Force, it’s like they’re representing the Philippine Armed Forces and then they react that way. It’s sad to see,” he said.
“I feel it’s the usual expectation I have of any of the Armed Forces teams now: when they’re losing, they hurt people.
“Maybe the tapes will show (it). The league should do something about it,” Santos added. ”I hate the fact that it’s already on national TV and still there’s nothing being done about it. Before they could get away with it.”
Air Force coach Edzel Bracamonte, however, came to his team’s defense, saying the Loyola coach must first review the game before hurling accusations.
“It’s a contact sport. Players sometimes are desperate especially when wrong calls from the referee (are made). He cannot judge my players. He must first review the match (to identify) who started hurting people,” Bracamonte told Spin.ph on Wednesday.
“And we from the Armed Forces, we don’t hurt people. We just play football,” he added.