PBA commissioner Willie Marcial stressed Rome Dela Rosa’s crucial three-pointer in Sunday’s Game Seven of the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals involved a judgement call by the referees that can't be reviewed - much less reversed.
Marcial said there seemed to be a miscommunication between referees and table officials after the Magnolia wingman buried a three-pointer as the shot clock expired late in regulation against Rain or Shine at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“Yung mga referees kasi nakatingin sa play and dapat uma-assist yung table (officials). Pero yung table (officials) nag-dalawang isip kung counted o hindi,” explained Marcial.
Still, the commissioner said the call should be made by the referees under such circumstances.
“Pero kahit itaas o hindi itaas ng table yun (counted or not), referees decision pa rin. Final ang referees kung counted o hindi. Judgement yun.”
Replays established that the ball was still in the hands of Dela Rosa when the clock expired at the final 3:30 mark of regulation. The referees' decision enabled the Hotshots to take a 53-50 lead.
Magnolia went to win the game in overtime, 63-60, to advance in the finals against San Miguel in a rematch of last year’s title series.
Marcial admitted upon review that the shot shouldn't have been counted by the referees.
“Ni-review namin, not counted,” said Marcial on Monday.
Marcial said existing league rules do not allow such cases to be reviewed, unless the play takes place inside the final two-minute mark.
But in light of the controversial call, the commissioner said his office is trying to find ways to better address such situations in the future, hinting at a rule change.
“Titingnan namin sa pangyayaring ito kung ano ang dapat gawin na adjustment kung ire-review na ba lagi 'yun,” he said.