PBA Suspends Referees

PBA Suspends Referees Amidst Manila Clasico Controversy

The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) has taken disciplinary action by suspending the referees who worked the controversial game between Barangay Ginebra and Magnolia, dubbed the Manila Clasico. Due to a late non-call, notably a missed foul on Scottie Thompson by Mark Barroca on Thompson’s vital final attempt, the match was overshadowed by controversy.

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Replays clearly showed Barroca colliding with Thompson’s arm as he aggressively drove to the basket to score a layup. The absence of a foul call was deemed critical to the game’s result, with the Magnolia Hotshots eventually winning 93-91 over the Barangay Ginebra Kings.

To add to the severity of the missed call, Christian Standhardinger fouled Jio Jalalon instead of sending Thompson to the free-throw line for a chance to take the lead. Jalalon then clinched the deal for the Hotshots with a clutch free throw in the game’s final seconds.

Deputy Commissioner Eric Castro admitted the error, saying there was a foul with 11.5 seconds left in the fourth quarter. The league reacted swiftly to the officiating gaffe, suspending the entire officiating crew.

Castro emphasized his displeasure with the lapse, calling it “unacceptable.” There was interaction. We didn’t make a call.” He said that the officiating crew did not detect the foul in real-time during the game, which resulted in the missed call on Barroca’s violation against Thompson.

The game’s referees included crew leader Peter Balao, Mardy Montoya, Joel Baldago, and Julius Medillo. Tim Cone, Ginebra’s head coach, still had a challenge available at the time, having successfully used it earlier in the game. The Kings, on the other hand, no longer had a timeout, which is required for a coach to contest a call.

Regardless of the debate surrounding the non-call, Ginebra’s dissatisfaction stretched beyond the officiating blunder, as they had also failed to defend a significant 26-point advantage in the first half. This was the Kings’ heaviest loss since 2019, reflecting the team’s unhappiness with their whole performance, not just the disputed call.

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