A TECHNICAL official of the Palarong Pambansa basketball tournament believes the quality of officiating in the annual sporting event has improved.
Bong Pascual, basketball technical consultant of the event organized by the Department of Education, said efforts made to improve officiating prior to this year's meet held in San Jose De Buenavista in Antique, paid off.
“Gumagaling na din po ang mga referees ng DepEd,” said Pascual, whose resume includes officiating in the basketball event of the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympics.
Issues on officiating were a problem in past Palaro stagings, more so since, most of the time, referees assigned to the game were not members of the country's basketball federation.
For this year’s edition though, Pascual was tapped as technical consultant which was made possible by tournament director Edilberto Abalos.
The veteran cage official said DepEd referees where trained days before the Palaro started, while accreditation of referees were also held.
Pascual likewise stressed Palaro officials ensured that the best DepEd referees were chosen to officiate the tournament.
“Medyo nasala po at binago ang sistema. Wala na pong palakasan system. Five days, we have refresher courses, rules, and mechanics. Then, every game, gina-guide ko rin sila,” said Pascual, who was joined by three other international referees in the Palaro in Joenard Garcia, Glenn Cornelio, and Rey Hufana.
Following the help extended by a leading game official from the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), Pascual is confident DepEd officials are now capable of conducting high-quality officiating in succeeding edition of Palaro basketball games.
“Next year, hindi na nila ako kailangan,” said Pascual with a smile.