The office of Philippine Basketball Association commissioner Willie Marcial has reportedly summoned Bay Area Dragons head coach Brian Goorjian after an emotional game three lost yesterday, January 4, at the hands of the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, 82-89.
According to multiple sources of Manila-based sports website Spin.ph, the meeting would probably tackle the officiating of game three in Bay Area Dragons and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel's best-of-seven finals series, which the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel now leads, 2-1.
After the game, Brian Goorjian declined to talk about the officiating of the match,
"I might say something you don't want to hear. The game? It's for everyone to see.", he said.
Bay Area Dragons player Hayden Blankey went on social media to express his frustrations and begged for a "fair game" after describing the officiating as "cooked."
So what really happened between the Bay Area Dragons and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel that prompted commissioner Willie Marcial to summon the 69-year-old Goorjian?
Game Three between Bay Area Dragons and Barangay Ginebra
Before the start of the fourth quarter, Bay Area Dragons head coach Brian Goorjian was called for a technical foul for a second infraction on excessive complaining. The crucial foul called upon Brian Goorjian cut Bay Area's lead heading to the final 12 minutes of play, 63-57.
Earlier in the game, Bay Area Dragons assistant coach William Tomlinson was also warned by the referees for the same infraction. Meanwhile, four Bay Area Dragons were called for five or more personal fouls, with Hayden Joel Blankley getting whistled for six, while Songwei Zhu and Kobey Ketavong Lam had five each.
Until he was whistled for his fifth personal foul, the 6-foot-9 Songwei Zhu, who played forward, already had 12 points. Bench player, Mingxin Ju was also called for four personal fouls.
Overall, the Bay Area Dragons were called for 27 fouls, more than double compared to 12 of Barangay Ginebra San Miguel. In turn, the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel shoot 38 free throws while the Bay Area Dragons only got 10 chances from the same territory.
After the match, Hayden Joel Blankey didn't mince his comments against the league and its official.
He wrote in an Instagram story,
"Got nothing but love for the Philippines and its people, but at this point it's obvious, just let it be a fair game, please. As the locals would say – it's "cooked."
Looking at the statistics, the Bay Area Dragons lead in field goals made, two-point field goal efficiency, and three-point efficiency. The huge difference can be seen in terms of free throws, steals, and personal fouls called.
Hot words between Bay Area's Brian Goorjian and Barangay Ginebra's Tim Cone
Both teams went to the third game of their best-of-seven finals series with a thorn in their throat.
When the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel won the first game, 96-81, on Christmas Day, Bay Area Dragons head coach Brian Goorjian cleared up with league officials about the rules of the referees when it comes to physical contacts between the players.
At game one of the finals, the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel was whistled with 17 personal fouls, one less than the Bay Area Dragons' 18. However, the Bay Area Dragons felt that some of the calls that were made were too soft.
In defense, coach Brian Goorjian cleared that he never complain about the calls the referees made in the first game.
"We didn't complain about the referees. All we tried to do was figure out how the game is going to be called and make adjustments. That was my job in between games."
On the second game, the Bay Area Dragons and coach Brian Goorjian surely made the necessary adjustments as they tied the series to one game apiece after a 99-82 blowout win. However, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel head coach Tim Cone was also not happy with how the officiating was conducted.
He said after their game two lost,
"Their coach, coach Brian did a good job of selling to the press, selling to you guys, and everybody else about the calls from the last game. [He] did a great job of selling it."
In game two of the best-of-seven finals series, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel was called for more fouls, 21-13. However, the main story of the night for the local team was the huge difference in free throws awarded to them as they went to the free throw area just five times, while the Bay Area Dragons were given 21 free throws.
Coach Tim Cone added,
"We knew we were not getting the calls tonight like we're not a busy team tonight."
As controversial as game three was, both teams need to have the necessary adjustments, regardless if it would be about their gameplay or how the referees call the match.
PBA Finals Game Four Preview: Barangay Ginebra San Miguel going for the kill
Now that the momentum is on their side, the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel will surely make sure to go for the kill against the Bay Area Dragons with import Justin Brownlee at the helm.
The news of Bay Area Dragons import Andrew Nicholson going straight to the hospital after going down with an injury late in game four would also help to boost Barangay Ginebra San Miguel's confidence against their nemesis.
The 6-foot-10 lead scorer of the Bay Area Dragons was taken out of the Mall of Asia Arena in a wheelchair and was brought straight to the hospital to check on his leg, which he hurt after stepping on the foot of Barangay Ginebra San Miguel's Jamie Malonzo in a rebound play.
As of writing time, Nicholson is still doubtful for Game 4 which will happen tomorrow, January 6, according to Bay Areas Dragon team manager Maya Montecillo.
If the Bay Area Dragons want to extend the series to a Game 6, they need to make the same adjustments they did to win Game 2. Regarding the calls of the referees, they can only complain so much, and too much complaining can result to more punishment for the team.