Refs should let players decide game, says Adamson coach after foiled comeback


MANILA, Philippines—The referees should let the players decide the outcome of the game.

That was the sentiment of Adamson coach Leo Austria after a controversial unsportsmanlike foul late in the game foiled Adamson’s comeback against La Salle, 67-70, on Wednesday.

“It’s very frustrating that kind of call. I don’t know what triggered the referee [to call that]. It was a great game, and the referees should let the players decide the outcome of the game,” Austria said.

“If he [the referee] is right, I’m sorry if I commented against him. If he’s wrong he should pay for that kind of loss to our team,” he also said.

Gian Abrigo, the sparkplug in the Falcons’ run from 15 down, was whistled for a foul as he was jockeying for position against Norbert Torres while they were down 67-65, and hoping to make a stop with 15.9 seconds left.

That awarded La Salle two crucial free throws plus the possession—which Torres did not waste as he canned three freebies for a 70-65 lead—that ultimately spelled the doom for Adamson.

According to the UAAP rule book, fouls committed during deadball situations in the last two minutes of the game will be assessed as unsportsmanlike.

But for the veteran shot caller, who was well aware of that rule, all he saw in that game-changing sequence were two players trying to secure a better stance.

“From the beginning it was a physical game, then you would call such foul late in the game,” a frustrated Austria told the reporters in Filipino shortly after the game.

“Was there a foul? What I saw was they were both jockeying for position eh. Of course, [Abrigo] will deny the recipient [of the ball]. But he didn’t push him or anything.”

Austria even went to on to say the whistle should’ve been on Torres.

“Eh kung may foul, eh di foul, eh hindi eh. Si Torres pa nga may foul eh sya nauna humawi dun sa kamay ni [Abrigo] eh,” Austria said.

Austria, though, was non-committal about filing an official protest.

“I don’t know. If there’s a technicality, if there’s bias in officiating, we will see. But if it’s a judgment call, I don’t think our protest would prosper [if we file].”

After a big win over National University last week, the Falcons still could not nab consecutive wins as they dropped to 3-3 after this loss.

“La Salle worked hard for the win, and we don’t blame them. They deserved it because we had a bad start. We fought back, and the sad thing is we didn’t get a good break down the stretch.”

When sought for comment after reviewing the play, league commissioner Chito Loyzaga just pointed to the rule book.

“Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. If you don’t call that, the side of La Salle is going to get mad, if you call it, Adamson’s going to get mad,” Loyzaga said in Filipino.

“I didn’t make those rules and neither did the referees.”

But when asked whether it was the correct call, Loyzaga did not respond.

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  • lucidlynx

    Stop complaining and just focus on your next game Austria. If your team is really good, you shouldn’t have let La Salle lead by as much as 15 points for starters.

  • archerfan

    austria has a point. the refs should have just warned the 2 players to stop pushing then resume play. adamson has never played this hard this season. but what I’d like to ask austria is why is it that when they play ateneo, his best players, like feu’s, suddenly losses the eagerness to go all out? why is it that when they play admu, his player rotation suddenly becomes suspect?? kamusta na nga pala mga anak mo sa ateneo coach? full scholar pa rin right?? hmmmm…

    • ben987654321

      talagang obsessed ka sa ateneo. eh hindi nga naglalaro yung team na yun eh naisingit mo pa sa conspiracy theory mo. eh kung ganyan ang usapan, eh bakit nung coach si dindo pumaren sa ue. walang talo yun nung elimination, pagdating ng finals against salsal na ang coacj eh kapatid pa niya na si franz pumaren, na-sweep nila yung ue bigla? eh di kaya gusto niyang manalo yung salsal? tinalo ng ue ng dalawang beses nung elimination yun! nagtatanong lang. tuloy sinipa si dindo ng team. oh yan, puwede na ba yan sa conspiracy theory mo?

  • Si Lito Ako

    Wrong call obviously…It could have been a nice game to watch but because of that call I lost my appetite…..a waste of time….

  • nes911

    There was a foul but not to be treated as unsportsmanlike. Sayang it could have been one hell of a game down the stretch.

  • Noel

    The reason is simply because Adamson is an extension of La Salle meaning drop outs from La Salle usually transfer to Adamson.

    • pekpeknio

      You’re totally wrong, all dlsu dropouts go to BENILDE! That’s the reason why the latter was established! To accommodate rich brats who have no brains!

      • markus32

        dropouts ng ADMU nagiging ADU..
        dropouts ng ADU.. nagiging AU..
        dropouts ng AU.. nagiging U..
        isa pang drop ng letter.. wala ng natira.. tambay na lang ng U-belt ehek..
        wtf! nu ba yan!

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