|Pingris had an intense match-up against Kevin Ferrer in the contest.|
By Ivan Saldajeno
PASAY--In a playoff round like the semifinals, the officiating is more than just important in every game.
A simple call, whether it is the right one or not, can possibly shape up an entire match or even a series.
The said case especially happens in the PBA Philippine Cup semifinal series between Ginebra and Star, the two best defensive teams in the conference as far as the points they conceded per game is concerned.
With the expected physicality because of their defense and their rivalry dubbed as "Manila Clasico", the emotions can also run high because of huge calls and non-calls as well.
One instant case is Game 3 on Monday night, when both squads engaged in a low-scoring encounter only that the Barangay exploded late and took the 73-62 win.
[Related Story: Ginebra rallies late to steal Game 3 from Star]
For veteran Hotshot Marc Pingris, however, the frustration of uncalled fouls took a toll on them as well.
"For me, sobrang dami ng fouls. Siguro nami-miss din nila. Tao lang naman din sila, nagkakamali rin.... Instead na naka-focus ka sa game, naka-focus ka sa referee ngayon. Ganoon ang nangyari sa akin kanina. Mistake ko yun, so next game, maga-adjust na lang ako. Kakausapin na lang ang referee nang mahinhin," Pingris told some reporters just as he is about to exit the Mall of Asia Arena after the game, effectively taking responsibility for Star's loss that kept the team from going 3-0 up.
The six-foot-six defensive anchor was the top scorer for the Hotshots with 12 points in a game where usual assassins Paul Lee, Allein Maliksi, and Jio Jalalon struggled offensively. Pingris also grabbed 18 rebounds and got one block.
However, he revealed something that could somehow restore some faith on the officials with the critiques about what fans think as spotty officiating still looming.
"Nagso-sorry naman sila. Accepted ko naman ang sorry nila. Promise. Di ako gumagawa ng istorya. Nagso-sorry talaga sila," Pingris bared.
He once again clarified, "Di namin sinisisi ang mga referees kung bakit kami natalo eh. Partly, gutom din talaga ang Ginebra. Gusto nilang manalo. Ang sa akin lang, sana makita nila kung may foul o wala. Pero kasalanan din talaga namin. Nag-give up kami. Yun talaga kung bakit kami natalo."
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