PBA chairman Ramon Segismundo bared plans to bring over top officials of the New South Wales Institute of Sports in Australia to train and prepare the pro league’s game officials in time for its 40th season.
Now approaching the tail end of his one-year chairmanship, Segismundo said the league board of governors had an opportunity to meet officials from the Australian sports institute during its annual planning session in Sydney late last year.
“The plan is to invite the officials from the New South Wales Institute of Sports and help in our referees’ development program after the third conference. We want them to come over,” Segismundo told Spin.ph on Saturday.
“Australia is a basketball power. And their facilities are impressive when the PBA board visited the South Wales Institute during our board meeting last year,” he added,
“They have a referees’ training and they are much closer to us.”
Segismundo, who also serves as Meralco’s representative to the board, said the Australian sports officials are professional sports managers and trainers who have extensive experience in sports management.
The invitation is part of the PBA’s plan to improve officiating in Asia’s first ever play-for-pay league especially in light of numerous complaints on calls by coaches this season.
The amiable league chairman explained that the board and Commissioner Chito Salud are working hand in hand to improve officiating, that has also come under fire from viewers and fans alike.
Segismundo mentioned the planned referees’ training involves not just skills improvement, but also "installing a new mindset" on all game officials.
“We have not yet designed the specifics of the program but what we want to deal with is the attitude, the behavior of referees and the mindset. In short, holistic 'yung training,” he said.
“Rules can be done through training on local level, but what our referees can learn from them is how to respond to queries (from coaches and players during games) and just having the authoritativeness,” he added.
At the same time, Segismundo said five lady referees are undergoing training at the moment to add to the pool of PBA referees.
Coaches led by Rain or Shine’s Yeng Guiao and Talk ‘N Text coach Norman Black have been critical of the referees this season for what they deemed as lapses and numerous inconsistencies.
Guiao, who has amassed more than a million peso in fines since last year, instigated a partial walkout during the first half of Game Six of the Philippine Cup Finals last February for what he deemed as inconsistent officiating.
Salud eventually slapped Rain or Shine a hefty fine of P2 million.