Just like Calvin Abueva, Phoenix Fuel Masters head coach Louie Alas was perplexed that San Miguel Beermen import Kevin Murphy’s apparent headlock on his ward was just a flagrant foul penalty one, asserting that it should have been a penalty two.
Murphy appeared to have gotten an arm around Abueva’s head while they were jockeying for position near the rim with 4:11 left in the game. Neither player would budge, and they even crashed to the guardrail along the baseline.
“Talagang sa’kin F2 yun, pare. That’s a choke,” said Alas moments after the match. “I don’t know kung ano yung pinanood nila. Lahat nga nagte-text sa’kin, that’s a choke, lahat, sinakal talaga. Pero ganun talaga e.
“Siguro kung sa’min nangyari yun baka itatawag nila – kung ‘di import gumawa itatawag nila. Pero that’s not right.”
Even Alas himself figured in some conflict when he and long-time San Miguel assistant Biboy Ravanes traded verbal jabs at center court, just in front of the officials’ table. But for Alas, he’d just been protecting his wards.
“Si Gov (SMB governor Robert Non), siya yung nag-umpisa. Minumura niya kasi si Calvin.
“‘Di naman pupwede yon. Kami di naman namin minumura player niya – aawatin lang namin pero ‘di namin mumurahin,” Alas said.
“E pa’no kung labanan siya ng player, naging disrespectful na? So I will not allow that to my player. Tapos si Biboy, medyo… siguro wala ng kontrata yun para ano, siya na lang daw. Sabi ko sige, okay lang sa’kin, anytime,” he added.
“Tinutulungan niya si Gov. E si Gov, emotion lang din yun e, ‘di naman ganun yun e. Pagkatapos nga ng game andun pa rin si Gov eh, kumamay pa rin. Ibig sabihin, talagang spur of the moment lang,” Alas expressed.
But more than the heated incident, what really concerns Alas is the way the Fuel Masters lost to the June Mar Fajardo-less Beermen, 100-117. For the seasoned bench strategist, immaturity struck Phoenix anew.
“Sinabi ko sa kanila yan e, before the game. More than our physical, mental. Andun pa rin yung immaturity namin na sanay na sanay kami na lamang kami yung mga panalo namin. Sabi ko have some character when we’re trailing,” he said.
“Akala ko nga third quarter okay na eh dahil maganda yung adjustment na ginawa namin. In just a span of three minutes, lumamang kami ng two points ‘di ba,” recalled Alas of the time they led 66-64 with 7:09 left in the third.
“But still, wala kaming yung talagang may magco-control pag may emosyon yung laban, na ‘okay ibigay niyo sa’kin yung bola, relax, and just play’. Ang dami namin angal sa referee … so yung mga ganung bagay, kailangan ‘di namin gawin sa future games namin.”
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