PBA suspends ‘Clasico’ referees

Olmin Leyba - The Philippine Star
PBA suspends �Clasico� referees
Ginebra coach Tim Cone reacts to a call in last Sunday’s ‘Manila Clasico’ at the Big Dome.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — The PBA cracked the whip on the four-man crew that officiated the Magnolia-Ginebra game last Sunday for what it described as an “unacceptable” missed infraction in the dying seconds.

Upon review of the “Manila Clasico” thriller, technical officials deemed that the referees erred when they did not whistle Mark Barroca for a foul against a driving Scottie Thompson in the last 11.5 seconds, and left Ginebra coach Tim Cone and its horde of fans in disbelief.

“Unacceptable. There was contact. We failed to make a call,” PBA deputy commissioner Eric Castro said the morning after the Hotshots completed an epic fightback from a 26-point deficit to score a 93-91 steal.

The non-call led to Jio Jalalon tracking down the rebound, drawing a foul on Christian Standhardinger and splitting his free throws to give the Hotshots a two-point buffer with six ticks left. Standhardinger fired an air ball right before the buzzer, allowing unbeaten Magnolia to escape with its fourth straight win.

“During the game – in real time while the play was on, the game crew did not see a foul,” said Castro.“With this, the officiating crew of the game between Barangay Ginebra and Magnolia are suspended for failing to assess the infraction.”

The PBA didn’t give further details on the suspension of the three umpires and their chief crew but normally, sanctions like these are pegged for at least a week.

The penalties came barely a day after the pro league suspended one referee for making an erroneous call in Terrafirma’s 113-112 win over NLEX last Saturday.

In a grim development, the injury bug bit NLEX guard Kevin Alas hard again as he tore an ACL – the third of his career – and faces another long layoff that may last 10 months.

Alas hurt his left knee in the second quarter of the Road Warriors’ loss to Terrafirma at the Ynares Center in Antipolo, where he previously sustained ACL tears in the 2018 and 2019 Philippine Cup.

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