Phoenix Pulse head coach Louie Alas did not hold back, claiming that San Miguel’s Alex Cabagnot punched RJ Jazul during Game Four of their highly-emotional 2019 PBA Philippine Cup semifinal clash, Tuesday night.
Cabagnot and Jazul had a little verbal exchange with 2:22 left in the second in front of Phoenix’s bench. Cabagnot then suddenly fell to the floor, which, according to the outspoken mentor, was the time Cabagnot gave the hit.
That resulted in a commotion, and it ended up ugly for Phoenix as Alex Mallari was ejected for an altercation with San Miguel’s Matt Ganuelas-Rosser. Mallari incurred two technicals in that incident that led to his exit.
Ganuelas-Rosser was also assessed with a technical foul, while nothing was called on Cabagnot.
“I don’t know kung ano yung pinapanood na tape nung nasa table dun. Kita namin sinuntok si RJ, ako nasa harap din ako. Talagamg sinuntok. I don’t know kung ano yung nire-replay nila dun – I really don’t know,” said a seething Alas.
“Closed fist yun, sinuntok right in front of the ref. Ang mabigat pa nun, kami pa yung nawalan ng isang guwardya, [habang] yung sumuntok andun lang,” he continued, since Cabagnot was even the one who shot the technical free throw.
“Nakita ko yung replay sa phone ng teammate ko, kitang-kita naman eh. I don’t know kung bakit kahit ano wala,” said Jazul, on the other hand. “Pero siyempre hindi naman ako referee. Call nila yun. Hindi ko alam bakit ganoon.
“Kahit ilang beses i-replay, nandoon yung act ng punching. I don’t know.”
Alas even expressed that he is willing to send a tape to the league’s office to prove that his claims are correct.
“‘Pag nakita nila sa tape closed fist yun, ewan ko kung ano gagawin nila. Okay, assuming hindi reviewable, tignan natin kung ano reaksyon nila ‘pag nakita nila. ‘Pag ‘di nila nakita papadala ko sa kanila yung tape,” he vowed.
Press sought out Cabagnot for comments, but he had already left the Cuneta Astrodome.
Alas then clarified that he isn’t sore despite Phoenix losing, 91-114. He even credited the Beermen for putting out an impressive performance, which was their finest outing yet in this series.
“I’m not saying that kasi sourgraping yan.
“They’re the four-time champions. Marunong talagang bumalik – look at what they did against Talk N Text [sa quarterfinals] nung natalo diba? So yun yung ano namin,” he said.
Alas also admitted that Phoenix lost in playing mind games against SMB.
“Tingin ko medyo natalo kami sa mind games kanina. Sabi ko nga sa kanila, parang naging secondary na lang sa’tin yung basketball, primary ginawa natin is makipag-trash talk. Since we’re trailing, tayo yung talo sa labanan na yun,” he said.
“But may Game Five pa naman, [so] we’ll see what will happen.”