MANILA, Philippines – Blackwater has yet to earn the PBA referees’ respect.
Bossing head coach Ariel Vanguardia feels that way as he rued the huge disparity in fouls and free throws in their sorry 107-110 overtime loss to San Miguel in the Philippine Cup on Sunday, July 10.
The Beermen were called for 15 less fouls (18 to 33) and took 32 more free throws (43 to 11) in their narrow win that needed to be decided until the dying seconds.
“I just felt that my players would have deserved to win this game. We fought hard,” said Vanguardia.
“The only thing that frustrates me is that we would have hurdled this if we were able to get respect. I’ve been in the league for 20 years. I have not really seen a game where the disparity of the free throws is 43 and 11.”
“I’m not blaming the referees, it is a process that we have to earn the referees’ trust that we’re playing good defense.”
The loss denied Blackwater a fifth straight win and a huge upset against the league-leading San Miguel, which solidified its hold of the top spot with an 8-1 record.
But the Bossing had plenty of chances to close the game out in regulation only to witness Baser Amer fall short in replicating his game-winning feats in their last two games.
With the game tied at 97-97, Amer got called for a traveling violation in an attempt to shake off Jericho Cruz with a step through move for the go-ahead basket.
Amer then put too much force on the potential game-winning layup at the regulation buzzer after being hounded by CJ Perez and Mo Tautuaa.
Vanguardia believes the officials should have called a foul on the Beermen in both plays.
“I think Baser got fouled on the last two possessions. He got bumped by Jericho and he got bumped by CJ on the last possession. It is really breaks of the game,” said Vanguardia.
“We’re going to review the tape, submit to the PBA. I trust commissioner Willie (Marcial). There have been instances where the referees missed calls and he was able to step in and reprimand.”
Despite the crushing defeat, Vanguardia said the Bossing have to keep their focus on the task at hand, which is to reach the playoffs for the first time in three years.
At 5-2, Blackwater needs to win just one of its remaining four games to secure a seat in the quarterfinals.
“I’m still proud, I think we grew. We just have to focus on the next one,” Vanguardia said.
“We cannot do anything about it. We have to move on from this. We still got a chance at making the top two, if not, the top six.” – Rappler.com