Usually calm and collected, a different side of Cignal HD head coach Edgar Barroga showed in their match against the Foton Blue Energy.
Locked in a back-and-forth fourth set, the HD Spikers gave up back-to-back errors which pushed Foton ahead, 22-18.
Barroga and the HD Spikers hotly contested the second of those infractions – a four-touches violation. After shaking the net in frustration, Barroga was immediately tagged with a yellow and red card, forcing him to sit in the penalty area.
After Cignal eventually lost the match, Barroga tried to confront first referee Rolando Casillan. Both were restrained by players and fellow officials, de-escalating the situation.
Approached after the match, which Foton won in four sets, Barroga was apologetic, even saying sorry to the media members for his unusual behavior.
“Kasi ang isang naging reason, unang-una, ‘yung tawag nila medyo hindi pabor sa amin na magkasunod na pwede namin ikatalo. Definitely, may reaction ako doon,” he recalled.
“Ngayon, noong binigyan niya ako ng dalawang card doon ako napikon, pwede mo akong warningan, pero out of the game mo ‘ko? Binigyan mo na nga ako ng dalawang pangit na calls tapos bibigyan mo pa ‘ko ng dalawang card?”
Barroga was already involved in a contentious match due to inconsistent refereeing last Saturday when the HD Spikers defeated the Cocolife Asset Managers. He was relatively calm for most of that match, until the fifth set in which Cocolife head coach Moro Branislav began making excessive noises.
“Kung ginawa mo ‘yan noong nakaraan, okay lang. Pero ako yung sinampolan niya, kumbaga siguro ‘sasampolan kita’. Hindi pupwede ‘yun kasi noong nakaraan ang ganda ng attitude ko noon kahit nagwawala na ‘yung kabila,” the youthful mentor pointed out.
“Pero ngayon, siyempre, ito yung chance ko na i-express yung mali nila tapos bibigyan mo ko ng dalawang card. Doon talaga ako nagalit.”
Barroga emphasized that he immediately apologized to his team and the league officials after the match. He also brought up the importance of constant dialogue between referees and coaches.
For its part, the league has done a lot to improve referee-coach relations, even going as far as having a meeting between both parties prior to the season to discuss league policies and rules.
Barroga thinks there should be more seminars for both referees and coaches to solve erratic officiating.
“‘Kasi nawawala na yung trust ng coaches and team kaya dapat magpa-seminar sila together with us para, at least, kung ano man ‘yung iniisip nila na alam naming mali, o inisip naming mali na tama naman mapag-usapan agad,” the first-year Cignal head coach said. “Hindi katulad niyang magkakaroon ng ganiyang sitwasyon. Crucial game pa tapos mabibigyan ka pa ng ganoong penalty. Siyempre medyo ano lalo na sa part ko. Napaka-pasensosyo ko tapos bibigyan mo ko ng dalawang card? Doon lang ako medyo nawala sa sarili ko.
“Nag-sorry na rin ako sa organizer na hindi ako yun pero siyempre kailangan ko ma-express. Kailangan they have to do something para ma-address ‘yun kasi nangyari sa Cocolife, nangyari sa laro namin ngayon sana uli mangyari.”
For now, Barroga hopes this situation motivates his team since they have developed a habit of giving up leads in their first three outings.
“Inexplain ko sa kanila (HD Spikers) na hindi ako ‘yun. Sinabi ko sa kanila na because na parang nawala kayo sa focus nandoon yung pagkakataon na uminit ‘yung ulo namin para ipaglaban ‘yung sitwasyon na dapat hindi na tayo umabot doon dahil kaya naman lumaban talaga.
“Kumbaga kaya nila manalo kahit nung third set kaso lang simple instruction na hindi nila nafa-follow. Nag-iyakan sila actually, nagyakapan sila, nags-osorry sila, babawi raw,” he admitted. “Hopefully, maging mas matapang sila ngayon medyo matuto sila ngayon kumbaga itong coach namin lumalaban bakit hindi kami hindi.”