Olsen Racela intrigued by endgame officiating in FEU-UP game: 'Di kami makakuha ng fair shakes'

FEU coach Olsen Racela was not liking the officiating during his team's game against UP. UAAP Media Bureau
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Far Eastern University coach Olsen Racela believes there were officiating mishaps toward the end of his team's UAAP men's basketball game against University of the Philippines on Tuesday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.

In a hotly contested battle won by the Fighting Maroons, 73-70, Racela thought there were calls that should have favored his Tamaraws that were not made.

"It's just unfair that we did not get the calls in the end," Racela said. "Di kami makakuha ng fair shakes sa mga tawag."

Some of which, according to the PBA legend, were fouls while trying to guard Emman Ojuola.

Racela even said that it has been the case for the past few games.

"I felt may mga fouls kay Emman. Actually ilang games na na puro hawak sa kamay. Emman is one the best guys na nag si-seal. They’re not giving him enough the credit. Well I’m talking about the officials ang daming hawak kay Emman na di tinatawag," Racela further said. "Kawawa naman si Emman. Napaka-pasyensoso ni Emman. Buti nga di siya natatawagan ng technical [foul]. Sinasabihan ko siya na you know ibibigay din yung tawag na yan, pero so far wala kaming nakukuha tawag dun sa mga hawak sa kanya."

Interestingly enough, FEU went to the free throw line more frequently than UP, going 20-for-29 against its opponent's 7-of-18.

Ojuola was 6-for-10 from the line, but he missed two clutch free throws that could have changed the complexion of the game.

Another thing Racela noticed was a clutch basket by Ricci Rivero with 4:09 remaining in the game.

Racela thought Rivero, who scored on a runner despite the tough defense of Xyrus Torres, traveled during the play.

"I’m sure nakita niyo yung crucial na point in the game that binalikan kami ng two points ni Ricci Rivero, na we felt nag-travel siya by himself," Racela said. "You know in crucial situations pag dikitan, one call or one hand call can make or break the game for us and that’s what happened."

Racela and the rest of the FEU bench was assessed a technical foul for resenting to the non-call, but UP missed the ensuing technical free throw, starting what would be an endgame struggle from the foul line which kept the door open for FEU to steal the win.

However, the Tamaraws could not capitalize in the end and failed to snap the Fighting Maroons' winning streak, which now stands at eight.

Despite the loss, Racela remained proud of his team's performance.

"I'm just proud of the way he fought today--yung binibigay nilang effort for the whole game," he further said.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno