Blackwater coach laments free throws, foul disparity against San Miguel

Blackwater almost scored an upset over San Miguel when the two sides clashed on Sunday in the elimination round of the PBA Season 47 Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Beermen and the Bossing were both on an identical 4-game win streak prior to the match with the former snapping the latter’s run after the epic 110-107 overtime thriller.

The Dioceldo Sy-owned franchise had their chances to steal the game but breaks simply went the other way.

As per the team’s head coach, however, officiating played a big part in their defeat.

“I just felt that the 50-50 calls didn’t go our way,” said Ariel Vanguardia. “If you can see the stats, 43 free throws against 11, that’s very hard to win. We had 33 fouls, it’s very hard to win. It’s part of growing up and we are trusting the process but I’m proud of the effort we gave.”

“I know that we can outlast them, even if we were down 17, we had fresher legs. But there were two lulls in the game — two four-minute lulls — that killed our momentum. That’s breaks of the game and we can’t do anything about it,” he added. “I just don’t want to get fined but I think we played enough to win and I’m just so sad for the guys who sacrificed so hard but didn’t get the win.”

“We didn’t get much respect since we are a team that is still earning it. We played a champion and bigger team. I’m proud but it’s sad. I think Baser got fouled twice even not in the last possession. He got bumped from [Jericho] Cruz and then called a foul on Rosser. He clearly hit the ball first. I don’t blame the referees because we have to earn that respect. That next time, they realize that Blackwater can play defense and play a hard game for the fans.”

The former Phoenix mentor claimed that he has never been part of game with such huge disparity in freebies.

“I’ve been in the league for 20 years and I haven’t coached a game with that type of free throws disparity. I was there when Bill Bayno was coaching against San Miguel and that is why he was frustrated. But I won’t quit. Bill Bayno left and quit,” shared Vanguardia.

“I won’t quit because we will earn that respect and Talk N Text was able to earn that respect down the road. We will earn that respect.”

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