IM Texmaco crashes in upset 68-88 defeat
JAKARTA (JP): Protests over alleged unfair refereeing and a string of fouls sealed the third leg of the 2000 Nuvo Kobatama national basketball league on Thursday as Indonesia Muda (IM) Texmaco crashed to an upset 68-88 defeat at the hand of outsider Bali Jeff Citra Satria Pelita (CSP).
A controversial decision by referee Syarief who booked CSP's Nano Sukarma following a foul by IM guard Raymond Manuhutu, sparked the stiffest protest of the day. IM was trailing 26-51 in the third quarter when Raymond floored Nano and to everybody's surprise, it was Nano who took the blame and CSP that won the free throws.
An angry Nano tried to file an appeal but Syarief refused to talk to the player who then pushed Raymond in the court in a retaliatory move.
Raymond controlled his temper and did not respond to Nano's provocation. He slammed the two free throws, although they were not enough to shake CSP's commanding lead.
Patrick Gosal scored two of his total score of 14 points for IM before the third quarter ended with CSP leading 67-46.
Nano, who earned an astonishing 28 points and made one assist, was finally fouled out in the fourth quarter.
Raymond led IM charge in the final quarter with a three- pointer rally just two minutes into the game. Junior player Doni Tirta scored twice in free throws which further narrowed IM's defeat to 16 points.
Sumantri added two more points for IM but CSP maintained the big deficit after Dian Heriadi sank two free throws. IM now built up a commanding 69-53 lead.
The next incident came four minutes before the final buzzer. Faisal of CSP was hit on his jaw and pointed his finger to Raymond. After a brief argument, Faisal and Raymond shook hands to end the dispute.
As the atmosphere boiled, IM players began to lose control and committed some faults. At this point, CSP extended its lead, mostly from free throws.
Faisal managed three out of four throws; Daniel Poetiray scored four out of six; M. Nur Affandi earned three out of eight; Yusak Purimahua made two out of four; and Dian Heriadi contributed two points.
In the last minute, Syarief booked Raymond for firing obscene words at him in protest.
Raymond defended his action by saying that it was aimed at a player but the referee was adamant with his decision and gave CSP four free throws. Faisal and Affandi undertook their job successfully.
A spiritless IM managed only to score once in the dying minute through substitute Haris Sogirin as CSP continued its shooting spree.
Well-taken free throws from Daniel completed the IM mauling.
Rommy said after the match that his players failed to heed coach M. Rifky's words in several occasions.
"The coach had instructed us to mark Nano, shooter Anis (Affandi's nickname) and Budimansyah. We lost our precious moment in the first and second quarters," he said.
He also said that his teammates were too reckless in the last third and fourth quarters.
"Our opponents did not perform well in the last two quarters, but we could not take that advantage because we were too hasty in the finishing touch."
CSP's assistant manager Zainul Hilal accused IM of provoking his players during the match. "IM players intentionally fomented our fury. But I have told them to remain patient and they heeded my advise," he said. (ivy)