PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial admitted that game officials made a grave mistake of calling an offensive foul on NorthPort’s Sean Anthony during the team’s match against the Phoenix Pulse Fuel Masters, Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Anthony was whistled for the foul against Justin Chua immediately after he buried a three-pointer to give his team a three point lead, 99-96 with the game clock down to 47 seconds.
The questionable call made by referee Noy Guevarra nullified the basket and reset the score to 96 all. The Fuel Masters eventually won the ballgame after sophomore forward Jason Perkins converted 2 pressure-packed free throws for the final score.
The loss was painful for the Batang Pier as it was their third straight. A win over one of the early tournament leaders would’ve boosted their confidence going into the crucial stretch of the eliminations but unfortunately breaks of the game went against the Mikee Romero-owned franchise.
A review of the contested call by Eric Castro, the league’s technical head, confirmed that the referee in question indeed committed an error in judgement.
“Suspension lang, yung hindi siya makakapag-trabaho, malaking bagay sa kanya yun. Kung masu-suspend namin ito for one conference, siguro makikita ng mga referees na seryoso kami”, said Marcial when asked what disciplinary action the league will impose on the erring referee.