THE NCAA Commissioner's Office has decided to stick with one pool of referees for Season 93 of the basketball tournament set to open on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Only the Basketball Referees Association for Schools, Colleges and Universities was retained after the league last year worked with three groups of referees. The other two were the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas and the National Basketball Referees Organization.
NCAA basketball deputy commissioner Rebo Saguisag said during Tuesday's Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum at the Golden Phoenix Hotel in Pasay City that having just one group of officials means one interpretation of the Fiba rules.
"It was an ambitious project," said Saguisag of last year’s setup.
“It was worth experimenting on but you'll be surprised that those from the other groups said mahirap magkahalo-halo. Hindi baleng 'mali' basta uniform kayo, that's still consistency.”
"Baka iba-ibang interpretation at hindi mo maiiwasan 'yun. Old habits die hard. That was some of the comments that we have and that is why we decided, with coordination with the Mancom, that only one body will officiate this time," said Saguisag, who held the position of UAAP commissioner for the previous two seasons.
There is no major rule changes for the coming NCAA season although it has been agreed upon in principle that the possession arrow will be used for jumpball situations in the last two minutes — a Fiba rule.
"There are no earth-shaking rule changes except there might be a difference in the way rules will be interpreted or applied," said Saguisag, who mentioned handchecks as one of the violations that will be monitored.
"We'd like kasi the talent should come through so 'yung mga dirty tactics and panggugulang, medyo ineeliminate namin. So yes, we will curb down the handchecking rule and 'yung caging," said Saguisag.