RAIN or Shine’s protest of its loss to Barangay Ginebra Saturday night never made it on time to the PBA office yesterday, but league commissioner Chito Salud and his technical staff still reviewed the incident in question and found the crucial foul call a “spot-on” decision.
An official of the Elasto Painters arrived at the league’s offices in Libis, Quezon City, 10 minutes past the 12 noon deadline, and Salud refused to accept the protest, which centered on a foul referee Nol Quilingen slapped on Beau Belga, who was trying to block a three-point attempt by Mac Baracael with three-tenths of a second remaining.
Baracael went on to score all three free throws to lift Ginebra to a 101-100 win.
The commissioner later took it upon himself to watch the tape segment over and over before declaring that referee Quilingen was “spot-on in making the call.”
“That was a correct call; there was contact on the shooter,” Salud said in a conference at the Cuneta Astrodome press room during halftime of the Meralco-Air21 game yesterday. “Any contact on the squared-up shooter that affects ability to make the basket is a foul. He made the correct call.”
Salud and his staff reviewed several angles of the incident, including the league’s “training tape” which a staff member takes every game. The league often turns to this tape to resolve controversies.
“Having been filed out of time, my office has no recourse but to consider this protest invalid,” Salud said in opening. “As such, there is no protest for my office to rule on.”
Rain or Shine owners Terry Que and Raymund Yu were fuming Saturday night when they informed league official Willie Marcial of their plan to file a protest. They said “the referee decided the outcome of the game.”
Coach Yeng Guiao had also said that he and the Painters management were going after Quilingen’s head, saying the referee “has no business officiating in the PBA.”
Rain or Shine lost a two-point lead with two seconds left when Belga was called for that foul, which the PBA said was a tap on the shooting hand of Baracael that caused a change in the three-point attempt of the Ginebra swingman.
Salud also said the table officials made the correct decision of leaving three-tenths of a second on the clock, since the call was made with just two-tenths left.
“The reckoning point was when the whistle was blown, there were 0.2 seconds remaining,” Salud said. “(It was) moved back to 0.3 seconds, as per PBA rules. There was no technical error committed in this game and we are thus upholding the result.”