PBA removes erring referee from finals duty

Published October 26, 2021, 5:07 PM

by Jonas Terrado

Photo from PBA

The PBA technical committee admitted the wrong call made by one of its referees during Game 3 of the Philippine Cup Finals between Magnolia Pambansang Manok and TNT.

Deputy commissioner Eric Castro and head of officials Bong Pascual acknowledged the mistake a day after Kenny Hallig was removed from the roster of officials in the championship series.

Hallig was removed after calling a foul on TNT’s Brian Heruela while challenging the three-point attempt of Paul Lee during the second quarter of Magnolia’s 106-98 victory at the Don Honorio Ventura State University in Bacolor, Pampanga.

But a replay showed that Heruela didn’t even touch Lee when the whistle was blown.

“We made a wrong call, we admit that. No excuses,” Castro said, as posted on the PBA’s official site. “We have to move on and do a better job in the next games, plain and simple.”

The call may have triggered TNT team owner Manny V. Pangilinan, who later tweeted his displeasure over the officiating.

Fans also spent the last few days voicing out their displeasure over the call while Heruela’s wife even liked an edited photo of the play.

Pascual, meanwhile, said that while mistakes can’t be avoided, it doesn’t mean that the league is not taking any actions.

“Admittedly there was no contact,” said Pascual. “But things like this happen. Referees are humans. Magkakamalit-magkakamili sila. But their mistakes don’t go unpunished.”