LESS than a week after Barako Bull’s controversial loss to San Mig Coffee, the game between Alaska and two-time defending champion Talk ‘N Text once again ended in controversy - ironically over another late-game goaltending call.
A referee has been slapped with a suspension for calling a questionable goaltending call on what television replays showed was a legitimate block by Texter Kelly Williams on a driving Cyrus Baguio late in the Aces' 94-92 victory on Friday night at the Big Dome.
Sources said referee Rey Yante was suspended for six game days effective immediately for an "error in judgment" in the play. The league has informed Talk 'N Text officials about the suspension but has yet to make an official announcement at posting time.
The Texters were leading by two points, 92-90, inside the final minute when Yante called the goaltending call, even if Williams had clearly caught the ball on its way up and before it could hit the backboard.
Talk 'N Text team manager Aboy Castro also questioned why the three game officials did not bother to review video replays of the play, as league rules mandate for borderline calls in the endgame, before letting the call stand.
Castro said the goaltending call is clearly a “reviewable call” since it altered the outcome of the game.
“If the (goaltending) call has not been made, we should be up by two, plus ball possession in the last 28 seconds of the game,” lamented Castro after emerging from the team’s dugout.
Instead, the Aces stole the win with a driving layup by game-hero JVee Casio in the final seconds.
It was the third late-game call to spark controversy in the month-long season - and the second to lead to a referee's suspension.
Referee Jun Marabe was suspended for three weeks or the equivalent of 11 playdates for committing a “gross error in judgment” when he called a foul on Gabe Norwood during the Rain or Shine-Barangay Ginebra San Miguel game on October 7. The Painters lost the game, 94-95.
On October 28, San Mig Coffee's 92-91 win over Barako Bull ended in chaos after Mixer Rafi Reavis tapped out Enrico Villanueva’s potential game-winning basket in the final seconds. League officials later stood behind the referees, saying they were right not to call a goaltending violation in the play.