|Rome Dela Rosa escaped what could have been a crucial turnover. PBA Media Group (file photo)|
By Ivan Saldajeno
MANILA—Now it can be told: Rome Dela Rosa should have been slapped with a 24-second violation in his now controversial buzzer-beater.
Commissioner Willie Marcial admitted on Monday that the referees missed out on Dela Rosa's turnover when he made the said three-pointer late into regulation of the semifinal rubber match between Magnolia and Rain Or Shine.
With 3:32 left in the fourth quarter of their showdown on Sunday night at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay, Dela Rosa appeared to have saved the Hotshots' broken play after burying a wide-open corner triple just as the shotclock buzzer sounded, giving them a 53-50 lead.
However, viewers on television and live stream and even those in attendance were quick to notice that Dela Rosa still had the ball on his hands when the shotclock read zero.
What made the shot more controversial was that they won in overtime by exactly three points and that the Elasto Painters, assuming all the made field goals following that shot were still converted, could have won in regulation if the call was made.
"Nakita namin. Not counted," Marcial said during the press conference for the finals between Magnolia and San Miguel at the Sambokojin Restaurant in Eastwood, Quezon City.
On why he believes the call was missed, Marcial said, "Yung referee, andoon sa slot, tinitignan yung labanan sa gitna. Ang a-assist dapat ay yung table. Pagtingin niya sa table, hindi niya itinaas yung 24. Nag-dalawang isip yung table."
However, he reiterated, "Kahit itinaas nya yung 24 o hindi, ang final say dyan pa rin ay yung referees. Judgment [call] yun."
Marcial then told both the Hotshots and the Beermen to understand the officials if in case there will be missed calls or non-calls will be made in the best-of-seven finals, which will start on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum also in QC.
"May mga ganung aspect na di mo naman makikita minsan eh, so sana maintindihan po ako ng San Miguel at Magnolia sa mga ganung pagkakataon," the commissioner concluded.
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