Chito Salud: Officiating a non-issue, just play your game
MANILA, Philippines – As the stakes grew with each passing semifinal playdate, so did the level of physicality. In the end, team owners voiced their disgust and coaches threw potshots at the referees – both on the court and off it.
PBA commissioner Chito Salud remained unworried, his faith in his officials unwavering.
So when officiating was raised as a possible issue during Friday noon’s press conference for the PBA Commissioner’s Cup championship series between B-Meg and Talk ‘N Text, Salud dismissed the concern.
“Let me make this clear,” the unflappable lawyer told journalists present at the Gateway Suites. “Officiating is a non-issue except for those who want to make it an issue instead of focusing on coaching and playing the game.”
The level of physicality had escalated in both halves of the Final Four. At the end of Game 5, Siot Tanquingcen, head coach of ousted Barangay Ginebra, branded the officiating “confusing,” and simply resigned himself to asking his players to test the limits of what was legal or not.
Salud said the players were free to test how much leeway the refs would give them but warned against purposely going beyond that limit.
“As professional players, refrain from trying to intentionally hurt your co-players because this is your means of livelihood,” Salud said.
He warned that his office, and the officials, would not fall for any ploy to get into their heads in an attempt to get favorable calls.
“Histrionics? Theatrics on the court, even off the court? Let me tell you this: It’s a waste of time and energy,” Salud said.
“Focus on the game. I will assure both teams here, both coaches here, the players here and our fans that our referees will call it down the line, fair, impartial and in accordance with the parameters and guidelines that we have explained,” he vowed.
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