MANILA, Philippines -- San Miguel import Charles Rhodes apologized to his teammates and coaches after fouling out of their game against Barangay Ginebra on Sunday, even as he expressed his amazement at the nature of the calls against him.
Rhodes battled through foul trouble in the second half, playing the fourth quarter while saddled with five fouls. He hit the bucket that forced a 99-all deadlock and sent the game to overtime, but was tagged with his sixth foul at the 2:45 mark of the extra period.
It was an offensive foul that got Rhodes out of the game -- the same as his first five fouls.
"It's just crazy," said Rhodes. "You know, I get six fouls, all six was offensive fouls."
Rhodes believes that two of his offensive fouls were valid, including one when he was battling for position with Ginebra counterpart Justin Brownlee. He questioned the other four calls, however, especially the last one.
"I didn't even move," he said of his last foul, where the referees whistled him for setting a moving screen on LA Tenorio.
Even Coach Leo Austria was disappointed. "Most of his foul is offensive foul, and that kind of situation, that's a let-go eh. Especially 'yung last foul niya, he was establishing his screen eh," the coach pointed out.
Rhodes knows that it is useless to complain, however. "It's just disappointing but what can you do? That's how the cookie crumbles sometimes," he said.
Rather than dwell on the officiating, Rhodes said he has to adjust to the calls.
"I just can't give them a chance to make that call. I just gotta be more smarter. I shouldn't even go for the screen when I know the referees are calling calls like that," he said.
"I gave them a chance to call an offensive foul on me to take me out the game, to take me away from trying to help my brothers win this game," he added.
Because of that, Rhodes was quite apologetic, and he said sorry to his team.
"I just feel like I let them down, so I'm really hurt about that," he admitted.
Rhodes scored 22 points in the first half, but slowed down somewhat in the second half. He still finished with a team-high 34 points, while also grabbing 12 rebounds. Unfortunately for SMB, his woeful free throw shooting proved costly: Rhodes missed a go-ahead free throw with 62 seconds to go, and was 2-of-8 from the stripe in the game.
But the import, who powered SMB to the 2017 PBA Commissioner's Cup crown, believes the loss to Ginebra should only fire up the Beermen for the remainder of their elimination round schedule.
"We got our groove back and this is just gonna help us. This is just gonna help us get better. Now we just gotta make a run," he said.
"We gotta make a run and just prepare for the playoffs and try to get prepared for the seeding. So every game from now on is very, very, very important."
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