SMART CLARK GIGA CITY–PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said they have yet to find out the culprit behind the “luto” accusation that was heard clearly on television and livestream during Game 3 of the Philippine Cup semifinals between Ginebra and Meralco on Sunday night.
With no physical crowd inside the Angeles University Foundation Arena, the live broadcast team picked up the audio from a still unidentified member of the Bolts who shouted, “Ref lutong-luto ‘to ah,” suggesting that the officiating heavily favored the Kings.
The incident happened with Ginebra ahead 66-56 at the 10:04 mark of the fourth quarter after Japeth Aguilar was called for a three-second violation and shortly before Meralco veteran forward Reynel Hugnatan was slapped with a technical foul for continuous complaining.
Fans on social media were quick to point their fingers at Hugnatan, but Marcial said they need to identify first who was really behind the foul remark before handing down a possible fine.
“Kailangan namin malaman kung kanino talaga galing. Ayun ang problema pa. Wala kaming video, audio lang,” said the PBA chief.
Marcial stressed that a thorough process has to be done first, saying that they will ask and confirm with the referees and table officials if they have seen the culprit.
“Kailangan maging fair naman tayo. ‘Di tayo pwede basta mag-fine,” said Marcial, who added that they cannot just summon the whole Meralco team.
Ginebra went on to take a 91-84 victory behind Stanley Pringle and close in on a chance to capture the league’s crown jewel for the first time since 2007.
With a 2-1 series advantage in the best-of-five semifinals, the Kings will look to finish off the Bolts in Game 4 on Wednesday.