SMC sports head Al Chua denies SMB getting ‘special treatment’ from refs

Asian Games-Al Francis Chua

A top official of San Miguel Corporation group denied accusations made by TNT coach Nash Racela earlier about defending two-time champion San Miguel Beer “getting a special treatment” from game officials following the Beermen’s series-equalizing 97-86 win over the KaTropa in Game 4 last Tuesday night.

In a hastily called press conference during the halftime break of Game 5 between the two bitter rivals on Thursday night, SMC sports director Alfrancis Chua rebuffed Racela’s post-game comments, saying those were uncalled for against a Beermen side, which is just seeking to observe a fair officiating—just like what other parties want.

“Telling us na parang special treatment, ‘di ata maganda,” stressed Chua, who is also serving as the representative of Barangay Ginebra to the PBA Board.

“When we lost two games in a row, you didn’t hear from us. Special treatment for what? Because we won?” asked Chua, referring to the Beermen’s impressive win that snapped the KaTropa’s two-game winning run and turned the Final Four series into a virtual best-of-three affair.

“Sa amin lang, we’ve been here for the longest time. Pag natalo kami, we don’t say anything, pati coach namin, tahimik lang. Nung nanalo kami, he says humingi kami ng special treatment, ganito. Yung referee daw, ganito ganyan. Our coach didn’t say anything.”

Chua, who also spent several stints as a coach in the amateur and pro ranks, even urged Racela to keep his focus on trying to help TNT get the job done.

“Sana mag-coach na lang siya,” he stressed. “Special…kung tingnan mo ‘yung team ko, wala namang itlog. ‘Yun lang. Sana they mind their own team and we’re going to mind our own team.”

Chua added: “When we lost two straight, dun sana sya nagsalita. When we won, biglang special treatment na. It’s not good para sa amin. That’s why I never talk.”

The pony-tailed SMC official also nixed Racela’s comments about the 6-foot-10 Fajardo, the league’s reigning three-time MVP, getting what is considered by many as an “MVP treatment” from the men in grey.

“Basta kami, ‘pag may concern, we compare what happened to June Mar with the way they’re guarding him, they’re fouling him. Nagsumbong lang na ‘yun before na sinasandalan ‘yung tuhod niya, ‘yung kay (Jireh) Ibanes,” said Chua, referring to the Rain or Shine veteran who tackled the SMB giant from behind, leading to a hyperextended left knee injury during the semifinals stage of last season’s all-Filipino tourney.

“The only thing the coaching staff did was to present the disc. Si June Mar, napakabait na tao nyan. Hindi nga nagsasalita ‘yan. Para magreklamo ‘yung tao ng ganun, something is wrong.”

Chua concluded: “‘Yun lang in-address namin, kung nasasaktan na ‘yung tao and if it’s intentional. Wala namang specific. Kami lang sa San Miguel group, we’re asking for a fair (officiating). You never heard anything na may nagcomplain sa amin. Natawag, natawag na yan. Move on. Yun na lang sa amin.”

Follow this writer on Twitter: @BudoyLagunzad

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