PBA Commissioner Chito Salud yesterday suspended a referee for the rest of the conference for missing a crucial call that decided the outcome of the game between Rain or Shine and Ginebra.
Salud did not name the referee although the game officials in that game were Rommel Gruta, Rey Yante and Peter Balao.
Despite the absence of a formal protest, the Office of the Commissioner made a review on the steal made by ROS guard Jeff Chan on Ginebra’s Michael Dunigan with 8.7 seconds left with the 24-second shot clock winding down.
The league chief said that a closer look at the particular play shows Chan tapped the ball from Dunigan’s hands with 0.2 second left on the shot clock of Ginebra.
“When the ball was tapped away from the hands of Dunigan, this in itself did not constitute a loss of possession on the part of the offensive team and therefore did not stop the shot clock from counting down,” said Salud.
“For the 24-second shot clock to cease from counting down, clear and immediate control of the ball must be had by the defensive team either by containing the ball with the use of one or two hands and/or dribbling the ball twice if the containment was with the use of one hand or dribbling once if the containment was with the use of two hands.”
“A closer look at the slow motion replay reveals that Chan did not have clear and immediate control of the ball after the tap at which time a 24-sec violation should have been called by the referees.”
“Jeff Chan only had clear and immediate control of the ball with his second dribble after the 24-second shot clock had already expired. The referee on the ball missed that play and is thus suspended by this Office for the rest of the conference,” added Salud.
Following the steal, Chan scored an easy lay up that gave ROS the lead, 92-91, with 4.6 seconds to play.
“While this incident demonstrates the difficulty in making judgment calls in real time and did not involve an error in technicality that is a ground for protest, disciplinary measures have been taken on the erring game official for a lapse in judgment, which involved a call that was not reviewable and correctible under the rules during the game,” said Salud.