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    Pinoy referee Bong Pascual assigned to work in Tokyo Olympics

    Jul 13, 2021
    PHOTO: fiba.basketball

    THEY say when God closes a door, He opens a window.

    After a missed chance to officiate in the last FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament, international Filipino referee Bong Pascual has now been assigned to work in the coming Tokyo Olympics.

    If everything goes on as planned, Pascual will be leaving for the Japanese capital on July 22.

    “July 22 ang schedule ng alis ko,” he said Tuesday when the PBA made an ocular inspection at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig for the opening of the league’s 46th season over the weekend.

    The FIBA-accredited referee serves as chief of officiating of Asia’s first ever play-for-pay league.

    Pinoy referee in Tokyo Olympics

    Although he already had his swab testing for the league’s Philippine Cup, Pascual said he is still mandated to undertake another test under FIBA supervision in order to have a shot at working in his second straight Olympic stint after the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Games.

    Bong Pascual Fiba referee Patty Mills


    All along, he thought he’ll no longer be assigned for the Tokyo Games after failing to call the games for the recent FIBA OQT in Canada.

    A ‘false positive’ in his swab test prior to his scheduled departure cost him the chance.

    “It turned out negative naman ako. Pero na-miss ko yung date ng dapat na alis ko,” he recalled.

    Although he could've still made it to the qualifying tournament given the available short window of time, FIBA told him not to proceed and just stay put.

    “Ang alam ko wala na kasi pagkaka-intindi ko once na hindi ka nakatawag sa OQT, di ka na rin nila papapuntahin sa Olympics,” said the 50-year-old Pascual, who previously worked in the 2014 (Spain) and 2019 (China) FIBA World Cups.


      To his surprise, he got a notice from FIBA.

      “Sabi nila naiintindihan naman nila yung sitwasyon ngayon, na this is a challenging time, kaya nabigyan tayo ng second chance, another opportunity,” said Pascual, grateful for the opportunity given him by the world’s governing body for basketball.

      So he’s hoping a negative result will be a positive thing for him the next time.

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      PHOTO: fiba.basketball
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