Henry Walker rues ‘soft’ officiating as NLEX bow out of q’finals v SMB

After another disappointing finish in his second PBA tour of duty, NLEX import Henry Walker could only shake his head, while describing Friday’s officiating as “soft”.

The Road Warriors came back strong in the fourth quarter after trailing by 17 points. But they eventually ran out of time as they fell, 114-110 to the Beermen to take a quick quarterfinal exit in the Governors Cup.

The 6-foot-4 Walker ended the conference by dropping 45 points and hauling down 17 rebounds, doing everything he could to force a sudden death match against the Beermen.

But the former Miami Heat wingman felt officiating ruined what could have been a solid NLEX endgame rally.

“Just a little disappointed because I felt like we had the game man. It’s just like the tighter the whistles got, you expect that in the regular season, but playoff game deciding who advances?  It’s like lot of softness, just like I said in the first game,” Walker told the press after the game.

The 29-year-old Walker said the inconsistencies on the referees’ calls made him describe the officiating as “soft”.

“I think you guys might have took it the wrong way when I said soft as in I don’t know, but some of the calls are soft,” he said.

“You can’t touch on one end and you’re allowed to get beat up on one. It’s soft man, and it changes the way the game is called. We went all out today.  We played hard and we just didn’t get the call. Just didn’t get the breaks,” added Walker, who first played as Alaska’s import in the 2014 Governors Cup.

Statistics showed NLEX had four more fouls compared to San Miguel (28-24), but the Beermen were given 38 more free throws compared to just 24 from the Road Warriors.

Walker though feels the young NLEX core of Kevin Alas and rookies Garvo Lanete and Glen Khobuntin will surely benefit from the experience this conference.

“We got a nice, young nucleus and right now, you’re getting the growing pains and learning how to win and going up against teams that are experienced like San Miguel,” he said.

“I don’t want to take anything from them (Beermen) because they played their ass off today.  They earned it and they won, but NLEX they got a young core and they’re going to make some noise in the future.” – Richard Dy

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