PBA: 'That's an understatement' - Joshua Smith thinks the fouls called on him were more than questionable
Santino Honasan on Jul 09, 2018 08:24 PM
Joshua Smith had something to say about the fouls called on him late in Game 1 against SMB
In the final five minutes of Monday’s 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Quarterfinals matchup between defending champions San Miguel and Talk N’ Text, KaTropa import Joshua Smith found himself picking up his fifth and sixth fouls.
Smith’s fifth foul was a shooting foul on Beermen big man June Mar Fajardo, leading to a three-point play that ultimately tied things up at 106-106.
His sixth and disqualifying foul was a lose-ball foul, again on Fajardo, at the 3:39 mark.
At this point, San Miguel had already built a four-point lead, 110-106.
The Beermen ultimately went on to beat Talk N’ Text, 121-110 to take Game 1 of their best of three series.
Smith’s absence paved the way for San Miguel’s bigs, Fajardo and import Renaldo Balkman, to feast easy baskets and fouls.
Obviously, Smith wasn’t too pleased with the final moments of Game 1 went for him, in terms of the officiating.
“Refs gotta let me play, man.” the towering import said following their loss.
Smith finished with 17 points and eight rebounds in just over 30 minutes of play.
When if he thought the calls against him were questionable, the 6-foot-10 reinforcement had a simple response.
“That's an understatement.” Smith said with a chuckle.
“I mean, some of those calls, I foul 'em, I'm a basketball player.” Smith continued.
A peek at the stat sheet will show that in Game 1, Talk N’ Text was called for 35 fouls leading to 40 free throw attempts for the Beermen, while San Miguel was called for just 19 fouls, leading to just 18 charity attempts for the KaTropa.
Quite the disparity, which could be the reason why Talk N’ Text has placed Game 1 under protest.
Still, it doesn’t change the fact that Smith and the KaTropa let a big first half lead go.
Smith says that being up that big is in no way a sure thing, especially in the PBA.
“No, I mean, in the PBA, it's kind of a curse when you're up 20. A lot of teams go up 20, and there's a lot of basketball teams that's gonna come back.”
Now down a game, the KaTropa have their backs against the wall, and will need to win on Wednesday in order to survive.
“We just gotta go back tomorrow, have a good practice and get ready for Game 2, man. Win or go home.”
San Miguel and Talk N’ Text run it back for Game 2 on Wednesday, June 11th also at the Araneta Coliseum.