Ariel Vanguardia was summoned by the PBA Commissioner’s Office to shed light on his statements regarding officiating during the Philippine Cup game between San Miguel and Blackwater two days ago.
Vanguardia met with Commissioner Willie Marcial late Monday and discussed the cause of disagreement that the Blackwater mentor raised regarding the huge free throw and foul discrepancies between the two teams.
During the Beermen’s 110-107 overtime wic on Sunday, the Bossing were only awarded 11 free throws compared to the 43 given to SMB. Blackwater knew it grew as a team after pushing San Miguel to the limit in an overtime loss.
Coach Ariel Vanguardia thought the rejuvenated franchise got the shorter end of the stick against the Beermen, a claim that numbers will back up.
A total of 33 fouls meanwhile, was called on Blackwater against only 18 for San Miguel.
Vanguardia showed up at the PBA office since his ‘appearance is non-waivable.’
The Blackwater mentor refused to go into detail about the appearance other than to say that he has the utmost respect for the Office of the Commissioner.
“It was a good talk,” said Vanguardia.
During the summon, Vanguardia also submitted clips of sequences in which the Bossing thought the game officials missed calling a foul or that a foul shouldn’t have been made.
Vanguardia pointed out the 43-11 discrepancy in free throws at the end of the 53-minute match at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, including a 33-18 difference in fouls called.
“If you can see the stats, 43 free throws against 11. That’s really hard to win. But it’s part of growing up. (And) we’re just trusting the process,” he said.
“We played good enough to win and I’m just so sad for the guys who sacrificed so hard and they didn’t get the win because we didn’t get much respect since we’re a team that’s still earning it.”
The Bossing fell behind by as much as 21 points down early in the fourth period, but Vanguardia felt the team was capable of mounting a comeback and outlasting the Beermen.
“I knew we could outlast them. That was the game plan,” he disclosed. “I knew in the fourth quarter, we had fresher legs.”
Blackwater did catch up with San Miguel and came close to ending it all in regulation, but Baser Amer’s driving lay-up for the win missed its mark, setting the stage for overtime.
All along, Vanguardia felt there were some calls that went against Blackwater, including a bump by Jericho Cruz against Amer and the contested sixth and last foul of rookie Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser against June Mar Fajardo.
The 6-foot-10 Fajardo incidentally, was not called a single foul in 47 minutes of play.
“I’m not blaming the referees but (because) we have to earn that respect, so that by the next time they know that Blackwater can also defend, Blackwater can also make stops, and Blackwater deserves credit for playing a hard game,” said the veteran coach.
Vanguardia hopes there will be a thorough review of the game officiating, saying he has enough trust in the Commissioner’s Office.
“They missed it (calls), and that’s the breaks of the game.”
The Commissioner’s Office has yet to issue a statement on whether a fine will be imposed or not on Vanguardia.