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Norman Black, Alex Compton pleased with increased physical play

MANILA, Philippines—Basketball coaches rarely praise referees, and if they do, they do so in sarcastic fashion.

But after Alaska and Meralco's entertaining PBA Philippine Cup game on Wednesday, the officiating was praised by not just one, but both coaches.

Alaska hacked out a 103-98 victory over the Bolts for their first win of the all-Filipino tournament. The game was marked by some hard fouls, and Calvin Abueva and Jared Dillinger got tangled up along the baseline in the third quarter, but they were only called for double technicals and no player got tossed.

Towards the end of the game, Dillinger was initially called for a deliberate foul, but after a quick review, referees downgraded it to a regular foul almost immediately.

For the coaches, it was a relief to see that the officials were letting the players play, as opposed to calling every ticky-tack foul that occurred in the game.

"Not because of our win, but I think that I like the direction the league is going in with officiating. I think we lost the free throw battle, so that's not because we got favored or something like that," said Alaska coach Alex Compton.

Photo: ABS-CBN News
Author: Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News
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