MANILA, Philippines – Bright Akhuetie may have kept his cool even after head coach Bo Perasol got ejected for berating at a referee, but he revealed that he was just as angry with the incident.
"The referee was shitty no doubt, fucking stupid, basta the kalbo guy (it's the bald guy), he’s very stupid. Trust me. I was going to do the same thing coach Bo did, but I was gonna jump on him, but I had to keep myself together because I wanted to win," said Akhuetie.
In the 8:09 mark of the 3rd quarter, Akhuetie recalled that referee Jaime Rivano chased him down to the other side of the court to slap him with a technical foul for a defensive stand on Ateneo forward Thirdy Ravena.
"He gave me a tech for what? I was far away from him and he came to me then I was like ‘no,’ then he gave me a tech. It was stupid," he continued.
In that incident, Akhuetie picked up his fourth foul of the game and only saw action for limited minutes in the second half.
At the 6:23 mark of the 3rd quarter, Perasol lost his cool and charged at Rivano with a clenched fist as he contested for a foul on Jerson Prado. The stunned Fighting Maroons held him back from the referee before he made his way out of the court.
The UAAP Season 81 MVP – who finished the game with only 6 points and 8 rebounds – admitted that Perasol's absence greatly contributed to the 26-point loss to the defending champions.
Perasol will be slapped with an automatic one-game suspension, but he expressed his intention to file an appeal. (READ: Perasol apologetic, but firm in officiating stance after ejection)
"There was no leadership on court because he wasn’t there," said Akhuetie. "It affected me so bad because I wanted to be out there to do whatever I can to help my team win but I had to go through it."
As the Maroons enter the next round with a second-running 5-2 record, Akhuetie hopes that the league's officiating will improve.
"We’ll still go out there, play our basketball game and hope that they won’t bring out shitty ass referees like that who are going to mess the game up because it was shitty out there no doubt." – Rappler.com
More commonly known as “Bee”, Beatrice is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Phillippine sports governance, national teams, football and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.