Referee banned for rest of conference for crucial non-call in Ginebra-ROS game

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--PBA Commissioner Chito Salud handed a long suspension to the referee who erred in the game-turning scenario in the Ginebra-Rain Or Shine quarterfinal tiff on Saturday night.

Following a review of the said moment when Jeff Chan stole the ball from Mike Dunigan leading to the game-winning layup for the Elasto Painters on Sunday, Salud thought Chan was not able to complete the steal in time and a 24-second violation should be called on Dunigan and the Gin Kings instead as Chan began the steal attempt with only 0.2 second on the shotclock.

Salud slapped the official with a ban that will last for the rest of the Commissioner's Cup.

An excerpt of Salud's official statement that was sent to various media outfits and to the general public via PBA's Twitter handle explained the suspension to the referee. It read:

"When the ball was tapped away from the hands of Dunigan, this in itself did not constitute a loss of possession on the part of the offensive team and therefore did not stop the shot clock from counting down. 

For the 24-second shotclock to cease from counting down, clear and immediate control of the ball must be had by the defensive team either by containing the ball with the use of one or two hands and/or dribbling the ball twice if the containment was with the use of one hand or dribbling once if the containment was with the use of two hands . 

A closer look at the slow motion replay reveals that Jeff Chan did not have clear and immediate control of the ball after the tap at which time a 24-second violation should have been called by the referees. 

Jeff Chan only had clear and immediate control of the ball with his second dribble after the 24 second shot clock had already expired."

Salud added, "While this incident demonstrates the difficulty in making judgment calls in real time and did not involve an error in technicality that is a ground for protest, disciplinary measures have been taken on the erring game official for a lapse in judgment which involved a call that was not reviewable and correctible under the rules during the game."