PBA commissioner Chito Salud upheld the controversial non-call in Game One of the PBA Governors Cup Finals, citing that San Mig forward Marc Pingris’ mid-air collision with Rain or Shine guard Paul Lee in the dying seconds was a “straight-up borderline call."
“Upon review of the play, this office finds it to be a straight-up borderline call that could have gone either way,” Salud said in an official statement released to media outlets.
Salud described the non-call as a “judgment call that can be debated or second guessed, while defending the referees, who officiated the match in the Finals series-opener.
“It was a down the line, 50-50 judgment call. It can be debated and second guessed, but the referees' judgment cannot be faulted under the circumstances,” he added.
Lee was going for a game-tying three-point attempt just before time expired when Pingris came to challenge the spitfire Rain or Shine combo guard.
Both players clearly collided in mid-air, but no foul was called, allowing San Mig to escape with a 104-101 victory to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five title series at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Jimmy Mariano, the referee closest to the play decided on the non-call, which left Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao fuming as he went straight to the technical officials' table to protest.
PBA technical consultant Perry Martinez, a referee consultant for the TV coverage of Sportst5, said he felt a foul should have been called on Pingris on the play.