RARE are the times when a referee gets substituted in the course of a game.
One such incident happened on Tuesday night when game official Rommel Gruta slipped in the early moments of the fourth quarter during the Philippine Cup match between Meralco and Globalport at the Astrodome and suffered a sprained ankle.
Gruta attempted to finish the match but the pain proved unbearable as he hobbled around the court. He was eventually replaced at the 3:25 mark by alternate official Michael Flordeliza.
Commissioner Chito Salud said Gruta tried to suck up the pain but he himself ordered the referee to stop and get treatment instead.
“Pinilit pero sinabi ko na tama na,” said Salud, who personally informed the coaching staff of both the Bolts and Batang Pier about the referee substitution.
PBA officials said it is not necessary for a referee to finish the game if he is injured since an alternate official is on standby at the venue just in case accident such as this happens.