Mendoza: Bad officiating is only perfect crime in a game-A A +A
Monday, September 2, 2013
THE usual stars delivered for their schools. But, as in virtually all contests, only one star will shine brightest.
That was Jeron Teng in this yet another Sunday Suspense Theater.
With his Mom and Dad watching nervously from the sidelines, Teng tore his defenders apart to sink the marginal shot Sunday in La Salle’s heart-stopping 66-64 victory over bitter rival Ateneo.
Ateneo’s Chris Newsome was there to block Teng—almost, but not quite. Teng gutted out a tough shot inches past the key to nail the game-winner with 1.9 ticks left, the ball glancing over Newsome’s fingers.
The La Salle throng at the jam-packed crowd of nearly 21,000 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao Q.C. erupted when Teng’s twinner hit the back of the rim before dropping, sealing a win that looked loquaciously uncertain just seconds earlier.
But not after La Salle coach Juno Sauler sued for time after Kiefer Ravena, Teng’s counterpart star at Ateneo, sank a twisting drive to tie it up at 64 with 14.9 seconds left.
Sauler stuck to Teng to go for the last shot and, after mission accomplished, Teng said, “All throughout, I couldn’t get my rhythm. I am thankful to coach (Sauler) that he trusted me on the last play.”
With no timeouts left after Teng’s killer blow that snapped Ateneo’s five-game winning streak, Ravena was forced to fling a backcourt shot upon receiving the inbound, missing it completely as time expired.
Lost in the din of battle was the spotty officiating, with, in fairness, both sides being victims of it. But, sadly, Ateneo suffered the most, with Ravena and fellow Eagle Ryan Buenafe getting constantly fouled and the inflictors going scot-free almost each time.
Like, before Ravena could release his tying shot, he absorbed fouls while cutting the lane but the referees looked the other way. Likewise, Buenafe took many fouls that weren’t “seen” by the men in stripes.
So volcanic were tempers afterwards that Ateneo coach Bo Perasol almost vented his ire to a heckler on his way to the dugout.
There really is no perfect game, only perfect crime: Bad officiating.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 03, 2013.