NCAA commissioner Bai Cristobal says referees made crucial mistake during Letran-San Beda showdown
NCAA commissioner Bai Cristobal says the most they can do now is to remind the referess about the rule. Jerome Ascano

NCAA basketball commissioner Bai Cristobal admitted the referees wrongly called the crucial offensive foul on Letran’s Kevin Racal that hastened the Knights’ downfall in their 44-73 loss to San Beda on Saturday.

Officials questionably blew their whistle on Racal after the Knight forward’s foot grazed San Beda defender JP Mendoza while the former was going down after a made three-point attempt that was also waived off late in the second quarter.

Cristobal said his referees made a mistake.

“Mali kami,” he admitted to after the game. “Pag mali, mali.”

“Pwede naming sabihing mali yun, pero yun ang nakita ng referee eh.”

The officials, according to Cristobal, should’ve at least counted the basket, which would have cut the Knights deficit to just 10 points approaching halftime.

“Ang judgment niya nandun. Application lang of the rule (yung wala),” the former PBA player said. “Dapat ‘yun na-count, kasi released ball eh. Correctable error ‘yun.”

“Kaya lang hindi ako pwede makialam dun. Hindi naman ako referee. Ipapa-recogrnize at ipapa-remind ko lang sa kanila na kung correctable lang yun because they know what they are doing. That’s the most I can do.”

“Before and after (the game) lang ako pwede (magsalita). The moment the ball is tossed up, that’s the officials’ call,” he added.

Cristobal is expected to meet with the Management Committee to discuss possible actions.

“Pag-uusapan pa namin kung anong gagawin ko ‘dun sa tatlong referee. Mayroon kaming guidelines. We’ll come to that.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos