The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) has taken decisive action by suspending the officiating crew involved in the Commissioner’s Cup game between Barangay Ginebra and Magnolia. This decision follows a significant oversight during a crucial moment in the game, known as the “Manila Clasico,” which took place at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. The referees missed a critical foul on Mark Barroca, who halted Scottie Thompson from scoring a layup towards the end of the match, ultimately won by Magnolia with a close score of 93-91.
The intensity of the situation was compounded when Barangay Ginebra, trailing by one, missed the opportunity for a go-ahead basket as no foul was called. This led to a tense moment where coach Tim Cone attempted to challenge the call, only to realize that all timeouts had been exhausted. Had they had a timeout available, Ginebra could have challenged the call, especially since they had previously succeeded in a challenge involving a foul on Tony Bishop by Paul Lee.
Deputy commissioner Eric Castro acknowledged the oversight, stating that the game crew failed to see and consequently call the foul against Thompson by Barroca in the game’s final 11.5 seconds. As a result, the entire officiating team for the game was suspended for failing to assess the infraction.
This incident is not isolated, as it marks the second consecutive game day where the league has had to impose sanctions on officials for erroneous calls. In a previous match between Terrafirma and NLEX, a referee was suspended after mistakenly calling a foul on Andreas Cahilig of Terrafirma, which was proven incorrect upon replay review.