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    PBA ref who missed apparent SMB backing violation faces suspension

    Dec 2, 2022
    Norman Black and Ronnie Magsanoc complain.
    PHOTO: Marlo Cueto

    A POSSIBLE suspension awaits a PBA referee if an official review of a last-second play can confirm that Marcio Lassiter committed a backing violation in a Commissioner's Cup game between San Miguel and Meralco on Friday.

    Commissioner Willie Marcial said the controversial play would be the focal point of the technical committee’s review after Lassiter apparently stepped on the halfcourt line following an inbound play with 5.4 seconds left with the Beermen protecting a slim 111-108 lead.

    [READ: SMB turns back Meralco to warm up for PBA playoffs]

    The Bolts complained the veteran San Miguel forward committed the infraction after receiving the ball from Chris Ross and then was harassed by Meralco players Jose Caram and Cliff Hodge.

    But game officials didn’t call a violation and let the play resume.

    It was only after KJ McDaniels committed a duty foul on Devon Scott that officials blew their whistles to stop play. Scott went on to drain both free throws to give the Beermen a 113-108 win at the Philsports Arena.

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      Game officials who worked the match were Peter Balao, Janine Nicandro, Albert Nubla, and Joel Baldago.

      The defending champions finished with a 7-5 recordand secured the No. 5 and will face fourth seed Converge in the quarterfinals.

      While the game no longer has a bearing for Meralco, the Bolts nonetheless, could have completed a huge comeback or sending the game into overtime had a backing violation been called on the Beermen.

      The Bolts, who ended up with a 4-8 card, trailed by as many as 77-52 early in the third before making a late comeback in the final stretch.

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      PHOTO: Marlo Cueto
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