PBA mea culpa hardly eases pain for Ginebra governor Al Chua: 'Damage has been done'
Despite the PBA admission of a mistake on the part of the referees, Ginebra team governor Alfrancis Chua was inconsolable, saying the damage has been done. Jerome Ascano

A TOP Barangay Ginebra official has called for more consistent league officiating in light of the Kings’ controversial PBA Commissioner’s Cup playoff loss to Rain or Shine on Saturday night.

Ginebra team governor Alfrancis Chua said the team is accepting the 92-91 setback like true gentlemen despite an admission by league officials that referees erred in not calling a 24-second violation before Jeff Chan hit the game-winner for Rain or Shine.

“Wala eh. Ano pa ba magagawa natin? Siguro magkakasya na lang kami sa mga aksyon na ipapataw sa mga referees. Ang masakit lang kasi, wala na. Talo na kami,” said Chua a day after the Kings’ ouster from the mid-season conference.

“Sana sa susunod talaga mag-improve (ang officiating) lalo na in those kinds of games. Hindi naman elimination 'yun eh. Playoffs na 'yun,” he added.

[See PBA admits referees made mistake in not calling 24-second violation before Chan game-winner]

Chua admitted the result of the game could have gone either way if not for that fateful non-call of a 24-second violation on the Kings.  

Ginebra was up, 91-90, in the final 8.7 seconds when Jeff Chan tapped the ball from the hands of import Michael Dunigan right before the shot clock expired. Chan went on to score the game-winning basket as the Elasto Painters sealed a berth in the semifinals.

A source told Spin.ph that following the review done by Commissioner Chito Salud and his technical team on Sunday afternoon, Rommel Gruta, who was the referee closest to the action at the left quarter court of Ginebra’s goal, will be suspended for the entire conference.

The other referees, Peter Balao and Rey Yante, have been given warnings. 

Chua however, remained inconsolable, explaining the Kings lost the game at the hands of game officials.

“Hindi bale sanang natalo kami dahil talo kami sa game. Pero 'yung ganun, lamang kami tapos hindi natawagan, nawala ang lead namin … ang sakit nun,” he pointed out.

“They told us na it’s not (a) technical (matter) but more of a judgment call, kaso andun na 'yun eh. Maibabalik pa ba 'yung laro?” said the man who last led Ginebra to the finals.

Although Chua praised the swift response made by Salud on the matter, he insisted the damage has been done.

“Nag-usap na kami ni commissioner. Na-explain naman niya sa akin. Kasi tinawagan ko sila talaga eh. Hindi na ko nag file ng official complaint, pero kinausap ko sila at sinabi ko i-review naman nila,” he said.


“Umaksyon naman agad ang PBA. Ang sa akin lang kitang kita naman kasi, nasa labas si Jeff Chan tapos wala pang possession,” Chua added.

[See Should a 24-second call have been called on Ginebra? Perry Martinez calls it]

Rain or Shine governor Mert Mondragon also supported the call of Chua for more efficient officiating.

“Kam rin ilang ulit nalagay sa ganyang sitwasyon. Ilang ulit rin na kami nag reklamo. So there is really a need to improve the level of officiating. Lalo ngayon, kaliwa’t kanan ang protesta at reklamo,” said Mondragon.

The Rain or Shine executive however, remained firm in his belief that regardless of the review made by the Commissioner’s Office, the Elasto Painters deserved the win.

“Saka kahit naman itawag yung 24-second violation, bola pa rin namin 'yun. May matitira pa ring oras dun.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @snowbadua