Meralco insists Mercado commit traveling violation in final minute
MERALCO head coach Norman Black, in his own words, “went ballistic” after seeing Ginebra guard Sol Mercado get away with what he felt was a traveling violation in the final minute of Game 5 of the 2016 PBA Governors’ Cup Finals on Sunday.
Meralco was trailing by just six points, 81-87, when Mercado appeared to slide and drag his pivot foot while looking to pass the ball. The entire Meralco staff and even their players were up in arms, gesturing that Mercado traveled, but no call came from the referee.
The Gin Kings were able to work the ball to rookie Scottie Thompson, who drained the dagger triple with 44 seconds to go that made it 90-81, and forced Black to call a 30-second timeout.
Even during the break in action, the coach was still trying to convince the referee that Mercado had traveled.
“I thought it was an obvious travel,” said Black after Meralco absorbed an 81-92 loss that gave Ginebra a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series. “Until the referee came over to me and told me it wasn’t a travel.”
“That’s exactly what he said to me – it was not a travel. And I just went ballistic, because I don’t understand how two people can see the same play and see it totally differently,” he added.
Black acknowledged that the referees had the final decision – “they are the police of the game,” he said – but he stressed that he intends to review the film. -30-