PBA FINALS: TNT not sweating officiating in Game 2 loss

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Aug 08, 2019 07:21 AM
PBA FINALS: TNT not sweating officiating in Game 2 loss
TNT has nothing on its mind except bouncing back on Friday.

TNT was leading San Miguel Beer by three inside the last two minutes in the first overtime of Game 2 of the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals, Wednesday at Araneta Coliseum.

And then, Terrence Jones got ejected for incurring a second technical foul.

And then, the Beermen outscored the KaTropa, 16-11, the rest of the way for a 127-125 double-overtime win.

In the end, even the winning coach could only acknowledge that the absence of Jones played a big part in their tying the best-of-seven series at 1-1. ”I think that was the key, when their import went out with his second technical (foul),” Leo Austria told reporters in his post-win interview.

For his part, however, Mark Dickel, active consultant for the losing side, said that TNT lost not necessarily because its import was missing in the endgame. "Look, it doesn't do anything good to worry about that because every time you bring that up, you lessen the fact that San Miguel played a good game. The last thing I want to do is take away from the fact that they deserve to win the game because they were out there playing hard and playing well," he shared.

He then continued, talking about Game 3, "we gotta come out on Friday and do the same."

Not only does that hold true for Jones ejection, but for Troy Rosario's fouling out in the second extra period as well. "When you win, you don't worry about the officiating. It's only when you lose that that's an issue," the active consultant said.

Rosario was called for a foul, his sixth and last of the game, on June Mar Fajardo during a rebounding sequence, but replay reviews showed that the former's contact with the latter was minimal - and the whistle could have instead be blown on Yousif Taha.

That is exactly why Dickel only wants their team to look at what it could have done better. "We gotta put it behind us and get ready to play another good game. I'd just rather focus on the stuff we could control and what we could control is coming out and playing another good game," he said.

He then continued, "We gotta make free throws at the end of the game. it doesn't matter what the referees do, we'd still win the game."

Indeed, the KaTropa could have put the game away late in the first overtime, but both Brian Heruela and Rosario muffed on their couple of charities.

That opened the door for Chris McCullough and Alex Cabagnot to send the game to double-overtime where they eventually ended as victors

Still, TNT will not lose sleep at what could have been a Game 2 win and a 2-0 series lead. "I'm really proud at how we fought. I though the first half, we didn't do what we wanted to do, but second half, we were really good defensively," Dickel said.

Rather, they are setting their sights on a mighty rebound in Game 3 on Friday. As their active consultant put it, "We just (have to) let it go. We just gotta find a way to finish the game."

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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