THE PBA Commissioner's Office has banned a referee and summoned Rob Reyes a day after the Air21 forward's 'cheap shot' on Alaska rookie Calvin Abueva which league officials failed to spot.
Commissioner Chito Salud has suspended referee Jimmy Mariano for four game days, saying the official "had the primary area of jurisdiction to make the call" when Reyes hit Abueva in the face after a loose ball scramble late in the Express' 104-103 win over the Aces on Wednesday night.
Salud has also summoned Reyes to a meeting on Saturday in Tubod, Lanao del Norte, where Air21 is set to play Rain or Shine in a road game, to hear his side on the controversy.
The play has sparked fury among Alaska fans and officials, who feel the team's sensational rookie has become the target of attacks from opposing teams that are obviously out to get his goat and make him retaliate.
In an interview with Spin.ph, Reyes denied the hit on Abueva was intentional.
The incident was the third this season where officials came under fire either for wrong calls or non-calls. All three incidents ended with the referees being slapped suspensions.