MANILA, Philippines -- Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero believes that the comments made by his Alaska counterpart, Alex Compton, had "gotten the attention" of PBA referees heading into Game 3 of the 2018 Governors' Cup finals.
The Hotshots had a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 series, and could have put the Aces on the brink with another win on Sunday at the Ynares Center.
Instead, they got blown out by the Aces, 100-71, as the Hotshots were helpless against Alaska import Mike Harris who torched them for 36 points -- 22 in the third quarter alone.
Victolero was quick to offer his congratulations to Alaska for the job well done.
"Just give credit to the Alaska team. They come up prepared for this game. They are aggressive, and the energy, 'yung binibigay nila, medyo siguro hindi kami makasabay," he said.
Yet he also made a pointed comment about the officiating, in particular noting that Compton had made some accusations about the Magnolia guards after Game 2 -- a 77-71 triumph for the Hotshots.
"Coach Alex is doing a good job also of calling the attention of the referees last game," said Victolero. "I think nakuha niya 'yung attention ng referee for, sinasabi niyang my guards keep on fouling, my guards are playing like, dirty."
After Game 2 last Friday, Compton complained that Magnolia's Mark Barroca and Jiovani Jalalon were getting away with too much contact.
"Honestly, I admire Mark and Jio but they gotta get their hands off. When they're shoving off and do karate chops, I mean, I have not publicly complained about the officiating. But those guys foul a lot and they don't get called for, we don't get free throws," Compton said after Game 2.
"I'm all for good defense, I think those guys got great defense, but a foul's a foul. If they karate chop, they're pushing somebody or leave a foot or trip a ball handler, it's a foul."
Barroca was called for only one foul in over 36 minutes of action in Game 2, while Jalalon was whistled twice in 30 minutes.
In Game 3, Jalalon got three fouls in 21 minutes, while Barroca also had three in 27 minutes. Neither guard saw action in the fourth quarter as the game was well out of hand for Magnolia.
But Victolero felt that Compton's comments were unwarranted.
"I keep on reviewing the tapes," he said. "Wala namang ginagawang masama ang mga players ko."
"And I don't know what the referees are seeing, kung anong fouls ang ginagawa, but I think for this game, the Alaska players are holding my players right now, and they don't call a foul," he added.
"And he (Compton) is starting to call the attention of the referees, and I don't know what happened."
Victolero stressed that they did not change anything from Game 2 to Game 3. "We're playing hard, wala naman kaming binabago," he said.
But the way that officials monitored their guards had apparently changed.
"Even in their press, marami din silang, nanghahawak din sila. I also reviewed the tapes, ganoon din. But 'yun nga, siguro hindi namin pwedeng gawin ang depensa namin, bakit 'yung depensa nila pwede nilang gawin?" Victolero lamented.
At the end of the day, Victolero said he just wants consistency from the officiating crew.
"I don't know what the referees are doing for the next game, but I want to be consistent. 'Yun lang naman ang request ko before the series started, consistency," he said.
"Let's be consistent. 'Yun lang naman ang request ko diyan," he stressed.
"Kung 'di nila tatawagan 'yung sa amin, huwag ding tawagan 'yung sa kanila. Kung tatawagan 'yung sa amin, tawagan din 'yung sa kanila."
Victolero's Hotshots still have a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 series, with Game 4 set on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.
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