All around the Premier Basketball League, you’ll hear a familiar refrain about officiating from the road team after a loss.

“It’s minor-league basketball, it’s minor-league officials,” said Lawton-Fort Sill Cavalry head coach Michael-Ray Richardson after a loss to the Halifax Rainmen on Jan. 22.

“We just didn’t think the game was getting called fair,” said Courtney Sims after his Puerto Rico Capitanes lost in Halifax last Sunday. “We were getting called for tick-tack fouls.”

“It was real terrible, man,” said Rainmen forward John Strickland after a loss to the Rochester RazorSharks on March 13. “It wasn’t even a secret. It was just obvious what was going on in that game.”

Talk around the league is, griping about the zebras might be more than just sour grapes.

Officiating has become a major beef for teams around the PBL, and it appears owners are taking their concerns to league officials.

“It needs to be addressed — there has been some brutal officiating in our league this year and I think the league knows we have to get better,” said Rainmen owner Andre Levingston. “We don’t want referees dictating the outcomes of basketball games. That’s happened a few times this year and it’s not fair.”

Representatives from the Premier Basketball League have not returned phone messages left by Metro throughout the week with requests to comment on the matter.

But Levingston — also the PBL’s director of Canadian business development — said he wants the issue to be seriously examined at season’s end. He wants to ensure officiating is “fair across the board” by “holding referees accountable.”

“We definitely have to address it,” he said.

All-star festivities
The host Halifax Rainmen will have a league-high four representatives at the PBL all-star game at the Metro Centre May 2. Guards Tony Bennett and Gary Ervin, small forward Desmond Ferguson and power forward Eric Crookshank were named to Team East yesterday. Rainmen head coach Les Berry also got the nod as Team East’s head coach. A three-point contest will be held on Saturday, May 1, at 6:30 p.m. followed by a slam-dunk contest at 7:15 p.m. The all-star game is Sunday, May 2, at 3 p.m.