An infuriated Atoy Co took off his shirt late in the fourth quarter along the Mapua Cardinals bench and waved it in front of the fans, drawing a second technical foul which caused ejection.
The Cardinals led 64-21 late in the second, but failed to sustain the momentum and allowed the Pirates to close in before finally winning, 109-95.
“This is the game I am not happy about. We won the game but we looked stupid in the 3rd and 4th quarters. The intensity went down,” Co said, explaining later on he did the unsportsmanlike behavior to draw the attention of the league and make a statement against its dubious officiating.
“I am very sorry that I did something stupid in the fourth just to make a statement. I was thrown out. There are so many calls that I felt the referees are the ones deciding the game. I did that intentionally for attention, to say sobra na (ang officials). Magagalit sila sa akin pero that’s the way it is. May karapatan ako magsalita sa tagal kong naglaro,” he said.
Co felt that the officials were not being fair when it comes to calling the game particularly in the second half where the Pirates made a huge comeback attempt.
“Yung referee pinabababa ang (lamang), pinagaganda laro. It’s just a statement to let them know, (sobra na). Yung mga foul na sa amin, ayaw itawag. Kapag sa amin, konting (contact), may tawag agad,” Co added.
“Minsan kailangan gumawa nang statement. Alam kong mate-technical ako pero para naman magising sila. Sobra na yung ginagawa niyo.”
Co also relayed that prior to the start of the season, the NCAA held seminars on officiating for league stakeholders to know what type of action should be expected for the season.
“Bago nagumpisa ang season nagpatawag pa ng seminar. May demo kung ano ang tawagan. Ang sabi nila, palulutangin ang skill ng player sa season na ito. Maganda iyon,” Co said.
The Mapua mentor wishes for officiating to be more consistent, and for the league to focus on being a venue to showcsse basketball skills.
“Sa atin kasi lalo na sa ibang liga, pwede na yung illegal screen, yung tulukan, nawawala ang skill. Hindi ganoon ang basketball. Dito sa amateur, dapat palabasin natin ang skill ng player. Ang daming handcheck na hindi tinatawagan. Yung mga handcheck daw tatawagan. Pero very inconsistent. Dito (sa game), iniipit na (yung player) pero wala pa ring tawag.”