ACTING swiftly after a complaint by Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao, the PBA slapped a five-game ban on referee Art Herrera for his “error in judgment” during the Elasto Painters’ 99-86 win over the Meralco Bolts in Game One of their Commissioner's Cup semifinal series on Tuesday.
The decision came just hours after Guiao issued a post-game appeal to the pro league to address the “worsening officiating” after he was left fuming by Herrera's decision to nullify a three-pointer by Rain or Shine's Gabe Norwood in the fourth quarter under the premise that if failed to beat the shot clock.
The league said Herrera made an "error in mechanics and judgment" in changing the call.
“Referee Art Herrera has been suspended for five game days (one week with no pay) for an error in mechanics and judgment in changing a call in Game One of the semifinal series,” the Officer of the Commissioner said in an official statement released to medias outlet on Wednesday.
Although Rain or Shine rolled past Meralco in the series-opening game, Guiao expressed his displeasure over the way officiating went, making special mention of Herrera's decision.
With Meralco trailing, 78-87 midway through the fourth period, Norwood nailed a three-pointer just as the 24-second shot clock buzzer sounded.
After deeming it as a three-point basket, Herrera, along with fellow referees Emy Tankion and Jun Marabe, huddled briefly during the next dead ball situation to consider protests by the Meralco bench led by coach Norman Black.
After conferring with the table officials, Herrera reversed the call and declared Norwood’s shot not counted, a decision that drew a howl of protest from Guiao and the Rain or Shine bench.
“It’s so obvious there was no call made. There was no whistle. Then, there’s a dead ball and then you changed the call (from counting the three-point basket to reversing it). What do you change when there’s no call in the first place. How do you explain that?” said a frustrated Guiao after the game.