By Jonas Terrado
Magnolia coach Chito Victolero’s voice was higher than usual Sunday night whenever the topic centered on the way the officiating has been handled after three games in the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals.
“Just be consistent,” Victolero said after the 100-71 loss at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City, a result that allowed Alaska to reduce Magnolia’s lead in the best-of-seven series to 2-1.
Victolero expressed dismay with what he perceived were calls favoring Alaska, which in Game 2 was on the other side of the coin expressing its grievance.
In that game, Aces coach Alex Compton rued his team’s 11 free throws, saying that the Hotshots got away with plenty of fouls.
“I think those guys are great defenders but a foul’s a foul,” Compton said after Alaska’s 77-71 setback last Friday.
“If you karate chop them, push them or leaving your foot till you trip a ballhandler, it’s a foul. And for some reason, they don’t want to call it.”
Victolero believes Compton was able to get his point across in Game 3.
“I think he got the attention of the referees,” Victolero stressed. “The referees are not calling on our side and the referees keep calling on their side.”
“I keep reviewing the game tape and my players are doing nothing wrong. I don’t know what the referees are seeing but I think for this game, the Alaska players are holding my players and they don’t call a foul.
“I don’t know what the referees are doing for the next game but I just want to be consistent,” he added.
Victolero’s frustration during the contest was evident when he and Alaska import Mike Harris had a verbal exchange after Magnolia’s Romeo Travis stepped on the latter’s foot while doing a backpedal with 2:38 left in the third.
But Victolero, who was given a technical foul for entering the court, publicly apologized to Harris, saying that his emotions got the better of him.