Reavis after Magnolia falls short of crown: 'Calls didn't go our way'
MANILA, Philippines – Rafi Reavis raised officiating concerns to the PBA after he felt Magnolia drew the short end of the stick against San Miguel in their battle for the 2019 Philippine Cup championship.
The Hotshots were literally one bucket away from their first All-Filipino title since 2014 as they absorbed a heart-wrenching 71-72 loss to the Beermen in the winner-take-all Game 7 on Wednesday, May 15.
"I just think the calls didn't go our way. Hats off to San Miguel, I don't take anything from them, but I just think hopefully the league really look at what happened [in Game 7]."
"There was a lot of lopsidedness [in the game]," said Reavis, who could have won his 12th PBA championship.
Magnolia was comfortably ahead by 17 and was primed to cruise to victory until San Miguel slowly but surely stormed its way back to clinch a historic fifth straight Philippine Cup crown.
The Hotshots had one last chance in the final minute, but Jio Jalalon missed what could have been the go-ahead layup in a play he believed he was fouled from behind by Marcio Lassiter.
Reavis also fouled out with 4 seconds left with 5 of his 6 fouls called in the final quarter.
"A lot of guys, they are frustrated because you get the sense of feeling that things are being taken away from you, your hard work is being taken away from you by some people that don't work as hard as we do," Reavis said.
"They don't understand how hard we work. That's the frustrating part. But hey, what can you do? I guess it happens in all sports, it's not just here. I think the obvious needs to be looked at and dealt with."
A highlight of what Reavis wants the PBA to review is how Beermen star center June Mar Fajardo did not incur any foul despite seeing action for nearly 40 minutes.
Fajardo shattered the longest-standing PBA record of all-time rebounds by a local in a single game of 29 set by Marcelo Simbulan in the inaugural 1975 season with 31 rebounds to go with 17 points, 2 blocks and 2 steals.
"It's hard because I think he gets away with everything. He's allowed to push us and we can't touch him. It's hard enough if we're not doing what we're supposed to do as far as defending him," Reavis said.
"It's hard enough as it is because he gets away with everything. You can't touch him, it's obvious. But he's allowed to elbow us and grab us and do all these things and I just think it's not fair."
"So you know, we take all of that with a grain of salt, we just have to keep playing. We're not going to use any excuses even if we think it's not fair. But there's no excuses."
"Maybe because he's the MVP or whatever so he's allowed to do certain things, we don't know. We understand that that's how it is and there's nothing we can do about him."
The 41-year-old veteran also stressed the need for every person on the court to be at their best at all times, not just the players but also the referees.
"This is Game 7, this is the finals, this is supposed to be the best of the best. We're told to bring our A game, everybody has to bring his A Game," he said.
"If anybody's involved on the court, all 13 guys on the court during the game have to bring their A game. There's no ifs and buts about that."
While he acknowledged officials apologize for wrong or missed calls, Reavis said a "sorry" no longer matters when the score is already settled.
"[E]very time we ask about certain things going on on the court, all we get is 'sorry' or 'my fault.' But 'my fault' doesn't help us. The damage is done, so sorry doesn't help."
"Hopefully something can be done about that and they can get better at doing their jobs."
After pushing San Miguel to the limit and almost ending a dynasty, Magnolia sure has proven to be a lot mature from the time it was beaten by the same team in 5 games for the All-Filipino title last year.
"It just shows the character of these guys, the will to not quit and not to give up. That's what we talked about, just battle down to the last minute," Reavis said.
"We talked about giving ourselves a chance and that's what we did, we gave ourselves a chance. It went down to the wire, anybody's ballgame, but we all know who got the short end of the stick."
Having been to the finals in 3 of the last 4 conferences, Reavis assured the Hotshots may be defeated but unbroken.
"We'll just get ready for next conference. We're going to get better. We're excited so our heads our up. We'll be back to fight again." – Rappler.com