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Salud assures referees to remain fair in light of complaints about SMB-TNT officiating

By Dugout Philippines

PBA Commissioner Chito Salud commented on the sentiments of many about what they thought was spotty officiating during Game 2 of the PBA Philippine Cup semifinal match-up between San Miguel and Talk 'n Text.

In an official statement, Salud said, "The referees will be firm, steadfast and fair, as they have been so I call on the teams to focus on one thing and one thing alone: giving their best as they play the game on the merits."

Salud's statement came after the Tropang Texters coach Jong Uichico and team owner Manny Pangilinan hit out at the officiating errors in last night's game.

Once a coach for the Beermen and the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, Uichico, during a post-game interview, said, "it’s a given when you’re playing against the San Miguel group. I’ve been there.”

Pangilinan, on his Twitter account, said, "We can't win these games with bad referee calls."

SMB team manager Robert Non commented on their statements and said, "I find [Uichico's] comments unbecoming of a coach of his stature. To set the facts straight, any basketball fan knows that San Miguel won both Games One and Two fair and square. And who else to be blamed on TNT side, obviously it’s not the referees but their coach who seems at a loss on how his team was beaten twice. Finding solace in blaming the referees is a lame excuse.  He should know better that a game is won not by intimidating the officials but preparing your team well.  Obviously he wasn’t able to do his part in that respect."

On the other hand, Salud expressed his gratitude that the fans are reaping the benefits of the ongoing semifinals.

He said, "Both semifinal series are exciting matchups.... The fans are our real winners here - our fans who deserve topnotch competition played with the highest tenets of sportsmanship."