SMART CLARK GIGA CITY–LA Tenorio made himself clear a day after posting an Instagram story showing the crucial non-call in Game 4 of the Ginebra-Meralco clash in the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals.
A few hours after the Kings surrendered an 83-80 decision and wasted a chance to finish off the Bolts, Tenorio posted a screenshot with a face palm emoticon of the viral video showing John Pinto pulling his jersey during an inbound play.
With Ginebra holding a slim 80-79 lead and Meralco in a penalty situation with 21.7 seconds remaining, Pinto tugged Tenorio’s jersey while preventing him from getting Scottie Thompson’s inbound pass.
Tenorio received the ball but fell on the floor against a double team and was called for an out of bounds violation. The turn of events led Reynel Hugnatan’s dagger jumper for Meralco.
PBA deputy commissioner and technical director Eric Castro confirmed that the referees indeed missed the call and a sanction is being mulled.
“The center referee missed it. He was not in the right position to see the pulling of the jersey. We have reprimanded the ref already,” said Castro.
“We’ve been reminding and emphasizing good positioning for them to have a better view and judgment,” he added.
Tenorio clarified that he only wanted to air his side through his IG story.
“Pinost ko lang naman ‘yun just for them to be aware. Pero they made their judgment call na no-call so we can’t do anything about it,” said the 36-year-old guard.
“Again, ‘di na natin mababalik ‘yun. Probably nakita nila ‘yun but at the end of the day nobody’s perfect. There’s no perfect officiating. It’s always been like that naman, kahit saang liga, ‘di lang naman sa PBA,” he added
The 14-year league veteran is hoping that the incident will serve as a lesson for the referees.
“Hopefully, it’s a learning experience for them, especially on a crucial part of the game. That’s crucial. They (Meralco) are on a penalty and they (referees) didn’t call the foul. It might have been a different ball game.”
The five-time champion though added that they should have played better for them not to reach that point of the game.
“Hindi na rin dapat umabot sa ganung sitwasyon. It just so happened na nangyari ‘yun. I’m not blaming anyone. I just want to be clear on that. Gusto ko lang na maging aware lahat.”
Moving on from the incident, Tenorio said he is not yet ready to exit the bubble as he seeks to lead the Kings in the do-or-die game on Friday.
“I kinda used to be here na. Medyo komportable pa ko dito so sana makapag-stay pa kami dito for the next two weeks.”