Coaches from the final four teams slugging it out for the PBA Philippine Cup have been left puzzled on the consistency of the calls made by the officials in the ongoing semi-final round.
In the playoffs alone, teams have complained about the escalating physicality that led to over P150,000 worth of fines levied by PBA Commissioner Chito Narvasa on all four competing teams thus far, making the league’s leadership adjust the calls made by officials more frequent.
Among those that spoke much about the calls was Rain or Shine Head Coach Yeng Guiao, whose wards are having a hard time in a tight series against June Mar Fajardo and defending PBA Philippine Cup champion San Miguel Beermen.
Guiao questioned especially the consistency of the calls made by the PBA referees in their highly physical encounter against San Miguel, where reigning most valuable player Fajardo gets a lion’s share of foul throws.
“We know he [June Mar Fajardo] is hard to defend, especially with the rules now. There are so many quick fouls called, so if you’re big you have an advantage. I guess he gets a lot of points from free throws alone. So, from the start of the game, June Mar gets a head start of plus-10 just from free throws,” said Guiao, citing the fouls called against Fajardo’s defenders.
“I think that’s a disadvantage for us. But we can’t do anything about that.”
“[The referee’s calls] are part of the breaks of the game. Maybe I can agree with Coach Yeng Guiao when he says that he can’t determine what a foul is or not, according to the adjustments we make on the court. I think he is right, maybe he has opinions where he is not in agreement with the judgments by the referees,” said Austria.
However, Alaska Head Coach Alex Compton spoke to a different tune on the calls, saying that the PBA has adjusted the calls for a better game flow, especially following the incident that marred their Game 2 win over Globalport.
“I really like the direction of the league, which is to just play basketball. When they changed the rules, it really affected Alaska because we used to beat guys 94 feet and it’s physically taxing. When the rules change, I didn’t think it benefitted our team, but I completely believed in the rule change was for the greater good of basketball,” said Compton.