PBA Commissioner Chito Narvasa will summon today the four referees who officiated the do-or-die game between Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and Globalport marred by a controversial ending Sunday night at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena in Pasay City.
Narvasa issued a statement yesterday regarding his meeting with the referees, hoping to find answers following the Batang Pier’s nail-biting 84-83 overtime win against the Kings in the Smart Bro PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinal playoffs.
The four are lead referee Edward Aquino, Romell Gruta, Bing Oliva, and back up Mardy Montoya.
“Regarding the officiating, and to be fair, we have scheduled a hearing for the four referees tomorrow (Tuesday) to determine their performance. After that, we shall come out with our official action on them,” said Narvasa.
While league observers agree that it was a judgment call, Narvasa is expected to penalize the officials given the league’s history with regards to erring calls or non-calls by the referees.
It was a tight encounter until the final moments of the game.
The play in question was when – with the Batang Pier ahead by a point with eight seconds to play – Sol Mercado and Greg Slaughter of Ginebra trapped Globalport’s Stanley Pringle near mid court.
Cone was hoping for a five-second ‘ball hogging’ violation on the Globalport guard even before he was able to throw the ball to Keith Jensen prior to the final buzzer.
It would have given Ginebra at least two seconds to inbound and score a potential game-winning shot.
As the Batang Pier celebrated at center court, an angry Cone charged at the Commissioner’s area, where the referees were seen apparently reviewing the play in question. After several minutes, the referees decided that the game is over and that the Batang Pier won the game.
That dismayed the throngs of Ginebra supporters that trooped the venue and flooded various social media accounts with comments that criticized the officiating in general.