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Wednesday refs to do 'back-to-back' work due to suspected COVID-19 case

Commissioner Willie Marcial said that the referees may have to do double duty until Sunday. PBA Images
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Expect the same officiating crew from the Wednesday night PBA doubleheader to work for Thursday's games.

Maybe until the weekend.

Commissioner Willie Marcial said that the referees who did the tough task of keeping NLEX, NorthPort, Ginebra, and Phoenix in order while in game will still be the guys that will officiate the next set of matches at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center.

This after the eight officials including the one that was declared a suspected COVID-19 case were put in isolation.

"Nakausap ko sila kanina bago magsimula. Sinasabi ko sa kanila na naka-quarantine yung walo. Back-to-back talaga sila hanggang Sunday," Marcial said in a press conference following the conclusion of the Wednesday night twinbill.

Only seven referees, namely Jeffrey Tantay, Peter Balao, Mardy Montoya, Mike Flordelize, Jimmy Mariano, Dax Dacanay, and Joel Baldago, were at work on Wednesday night.

They will be in charge for the Thursday night games, in which TNT and Blackwater collide in the first match at 4 p.m. and Alaska and Rain Or Shine lock horns in the other clash at 6:45 p.m.

Sherwin Pineda could have joined the team, but he was sent home as penalty for his officiating blunder in the Rain Or Shine-NorthPort game on Sunday night.

With a rule that a referee will be substituted from time to time for assessment, Tantay was forced to officiate the two Wednesday night clashes.

Marcial is expecting the result of the latest swab tests among the isolated referees by Sunday.

"Isa-swab test nila [sa Friday] yata yung mga referees na nag-quarantine," he said about the quarantined officials.

He, however, assured that some more referees will enter the ongoing season bubble.

"Pinapapunta ko na yung two to three referees na makaakyat na dito sa [Clark]," Marcial continued.

But they will not be immediately deployed as they will still undergo swab testing and self-quarantine.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno_

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