UST's Abdul unhappy with officiating in Game 2
MANILA, Philippines – University of Santo Tomas (UST) center Karim Abdul criticized the officiating in Game 2 of the UAAP Season 76 finals, saying the referees affected his ability to defend the De La Salle big men properly.
The Green Archers defeated the Growling Tigers, 77-70, in Game 2 last Saturday, with La Salle’s big men tandem of Arnold Van Opstal and Norbert Torres playing a major role in the victory.
But Abdul believes he could have done a better job of stopping Van Opstal if not for the referees.
“I believe the referees played a role in the game,” said Abdul, who also admitted that he lacked focus in the first half. “I’ve never said this before, but today, the referees, they really played.”
Abdul told a group of reporters after the game that he received “warnings” from the officials.
“Like, ‘Don’t put your hand there or I’m gonna call a foul’ and ‘Don’t put your hands like this because I’m gonna call a foul’,” related Abdul, who was called for two early fouls in the opening frame. “The referees will say, ‘If you put this hand this way, I’m gonna call a foul,’ so I couldn’t defend properly.”
Abdul said he got even more frustrated because the referees were not calling similar fouls against Van Opstal.
“What was frustrating was the referee wasn’t calling the pushing, and all that, the holding. Even when Van Opstal was posting up, he’s blocking his arm on me, but the referees are telling me to block my arm on him,” Abdul said. “I mean, what is that, right?”
“He’s covering my arm when I’m trying to reach for the ball, he’s blocking my arm with his arm. And then the referees told me not to put my arm, come one,” he added.
“I mean, he can back down with his shoulder, but he’s really, obviously putting his arm on me and blocking my hand,” said Abdul. “And the referees are not calling it, seriously.”
The UST big man, a member of this season’s Mythical Five, said he will address the issue with his coaches.
“I’ll ask the coaches to really talk to the referees,” he said. “They should let us play.”
But Abdul also vowed to come out with a better mindset in the do-or-die Game 3 on Saturday.
“I’m gonna be in kill mode,” he promised. “I’m not gonna relax like I did in the first and second quarters.”