THE PBA Commissioner's Office on Saturday admitted that a stepping violation should've been called on Rafi Reavis in a controversial play in the dying seconds of Magnolia's 105-103 win over San Miguel in the opener of the Philippine Cup Finals.
The Hotshots led by two in the final six seconds of Game One when Reavis got the rebound off a miss by SMB guard Alex Cabagnot and abruptly called for a timeout, although replays showed he had one foot on the baseline when he signalled for one.
Speaking after a review of Game One by the league technical committee, PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said the referees explained that Reavis 'verbally called for a timeout (which is allowed under league rules)' before losing his balance and stepping on the line.
However, Marcial said the referees' claim cannot be backed up by video evidence.
The technical committee later concluded that calling a stepping violation on Reavis was the 'best call' under the circumstances, but admitted that the crucial call cannot be reversed upon a video review.
"Hindi reviewable ang play," Marcial said.
Based on the result of the review, Marcial said he would be 'resting' the referees involved in the controversial play ahead of Game Two of the best-of-seven series on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Although Jio Jalalon missed two free throws on the Magnolia possession off the timeout, Reavis again saved the day for the Hotshots by blocking a 17-foot jumper by Arwind Santos at the buzzer.
The league also admitted that the referees were wrong not to call a travelling violation on June Mar Fajardo in a post-up play in the second half.