ON grounds of technicality, Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) commissioner Chito Salud declared the protest filed by Rain or Shine as invalid in the aftermath of its controversial Governors Cup game loss to Barangay Ginebra Saturday night.
Salud said the Asian Coating franchise failed to submit its protest letter in time for the 12 noon Sunday deadline set by the league.
At the same time, the PBA chieftain stressed that the foul called by referee Nol Quilinguen on Beau Belga that led to Mac Baracael's winning free throws in a 101-100 Ginebra victory was correct, emphatically stressing that the league official was "spot on."
“Today, Rain or Shine filed its protest, but it was filed out of time, having been filed beyond the 12 o’clock (Sunday) deadline. Having been filed out of time, my office had no recourse but to, consider this
protest as invalid,” Salud announced during an emergency press conference he called at halftime of the Meralco-Air21 game at the Astrodome.
“As such, there is no protest on my office to rule on. And the result between Rain or Shine and Ginebra San Miguel stands. Ginebra won that game.”
The commissioner stressed that considering the controversial nature of the way the game ended, Rain or Sine should have been “vigilant and diligent” in filing its protest, saying “there is another party involved...whose rights must also be protected by my office.”
Nevertheless, Salud said he, along with his staff and the technical committee, reviewed the game tape, particularly the crucial final two seconds when referee Nol Quilinguen whistled a foul committed by Beau Belga on Mac Baracael and Rain or Shine holding on a precarious 100-98 lead.
“The call that was made by referee (Nol) Quilingen on defender Belga. As to the contact made by defender Belga on the shooter Baracael the last two seconds was a correct call. There was a contact on the shooter, the rules provide any contact on a squared up shooter that may have affected the ability of the shooter to make the basket, will be called for a foul. Referee Quilingen was spot on. He made the correct call,” said the league commissioner.
Even the time left on the clock after Belga's foul, which Rain or Shine claimed should've been 1.4 seconds and not .3 of a second, was correct, Salud pointed out.
[For full story on Rain or Shine protest, see Rain or Shine wants outcome reversed]
“As to the remaining time, the time the foul was called, let me be clear, our rules are simple and straight forward, the time will be stopped only when the whistle is blown. “It is not at the point of contact so if you notice at the point of contact, upon review, it showed that there was 1.3 seconds remaining but, that is not the reckoning point,” he added.
“The reckoning point was when the whistle was blown, and upon review, it was shown that there was 0.2 seconds remaining, and as practiced by league, when the play is still alive at the time of the whistle, it will be moved back to 0.3 sec. as was done in this case.
Again, there was no technical error committed in this game, thus we are upholding the result.”