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PBA suspends refs for late-game mishap during SMB-Ginebra match, fines Ross

Chris Ross was fined for his comment on the controversial free throw drama late into the San Miguel-Ginebra game. PBA Media Bureau (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--The PBA suspended the table officials who were involved in the San Miguel-Ginebra game following a controversial finale to the Sunday night match.

On Tuesday, the league penalized book scorer Lito Mendegoria, courtside announcer Noel Zarate, and referees Noy Guevarra, Jimmy Mariano, Jerry Borja, and Mardy Montoya for the free throw confusion that marred the said game.

With 4.5 seconds left in the game and the Beermen down, 95-98, Guevarra handed the ball to Chris Ross, who was standing closer to the free throw line, to take two free throws off a foul when it was Chico Lanete who was actually fouled.

Upon the timeout by Coach Leo Austria to map out their final play, the referees corrected their error and in the process assessed Ross with a technical foul for deliberately taking the place of Lanete.

SMB eventually lost to Ginebra, 96-100, as the team fell short of coming back from 14 points down.

Mendegoria, Zarate, Guevarra, Mariano, and Montoya were each meted one-week suspensions, while Borja, who called the foul on Sol Mercado after clipping Lanete's arm during a rebounding sequence but failed to acknowledge Lanete as the designated charity taker, was given a three-week ban.

Ross did not escape sanctions as well as his comment about the controversial free throw moment led him to fines.

The league slapped a total of PHP25,800 worth of fines to Ross.

Ross, who was assessed a technical foul earlier in the game, was meted a PHP5,800 fine for both technical fouls, while PHP20,000 was added for the said comment, in which he said that the referees "put the blame on me and covered [their mistake] up by giving me a technical."

Meanwhile, Troy Rosario was slapped with a PHP5,000 fine for his landing spot foul, which is considered an offense under Flagrant Foul Penalty 1, during the Magnolia-TNT game on Saturday night.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno