FOSHAN, China – Gilas Pilipinas head coach Yeng Guiao was left dumbfounded by the officiating of their game against Serbia in the FIBA World Cup here, saying it was worse than the PBA.
"Actually, I felt that a lot of the calls went for them. We couldn't understand a lot of the calls," Guiao told Filipino reporters here after the match.
"I felt that they took away our momentum. The early fouls on [Andray] Blatche and then a lot of touch fouls. I couldn't understand."
Blatche, who's part of the Philippine starting unit, had to be subbed out after incurring his second foul with still over 3 minutes left in the opening quarter – both occasions ending in foul shots for Serbia.
During that stretch, Serbia turned a 9-9 deadlock to a 19-11 advantage and never looked back since.
Overall, the Philippines was whistled for 25 personal fouls while its foes were called for 16 infractions.
"There are referees worse than the PBA refs," Guiao said with a wide grin.
Serbia coach Sasha Djordjevic claims Paul Lee had intention to hurt after his unsportsmanlike foul on Marko Guduric. Gilas Pilipinas coach Yeng Guiao thinks otherwise. He also takes a swipe at the FIBA officiating. #FIBAWC | @dioquinodelfin pic.twitter.com/bMTURzfSju — Rappler Sports (@RapplerSports) September 2, 2019
But Guiao did not take anything away from Serbia, conceding the European powerhouse was just on another level.
"I think they have a really good chance against US and any of the top teams," Guiao said after Serbia shot a jaw-dropping 75% from the field.
"So we just played out there and tried to keep the game as close as we can for as long as we can. Apparently, we couldn't keep it too close that long."
"We knew all of this team can shoot the outside shot. Even their bigs can shoot the outside shot really well."
"But even if we close out on them and try to put a hand up in their faces, it's just really not enough for us to be able to disrupt their offense and their shots. They're just too big and too good for us at this point."
The Philippines (0-2) seeks to head into the classification stage on a winning note as it wraps up its Group D campaign against Angola (0-2) at the GBA International Sports and Cultural Center on Wednesday, September 4. –Rappler.com
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.