Beat red light: Jayson Castro winner unearths rule on buzzer-beaters
The highly-debated game-winner of Jayson Castro will now be the basis of judging future buzzer-beaters.
Amid continuing debate and videos being dissected on social media like the JFK (John F. Kennedy) Zapruder film, the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) said on Monday that it made the right call in determining that Castro got the shot off in time and subsequently give TNT an 86-84 win over San Miguel Beer in Game 1 of the Philippine Cup Finals.
Most notably, the shot has created a precedent that allowed the league to set a definitive standard for game-winners down the wire: Deputy commissioner Eric Castro said the league made the decision in accordance with guidelines also applied in international competitions which focuses on the backboard light instead of the clock or the buzzer.
“It has been a PBA guideline that when the backboard is equipped with red lighting around its perimeter, the lighting takes precedence over the game clock signal sound,” the PBA official said over the phone, practically reading out Article 9, Section 7 of Fiba’s (International Basketball Federation) official basketball rules.
There was plenty of debate online shortly after Castro got the ball with 1.6 seconds left and knocked down the shot off Simon Enciso that capped off a wild start to the best-of-seven series at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Most netizens were quick to point out the two viral photos of one courtside angle where Castro still had the ball when the clock hit 0:00.0 and contended that officials should have waved off the shot and sent the thrilling affair into overtime.
But another frame of the same angle saw the ball appearing to have barely been released by Castro when the lights came on, which in the interpretation of PBA rules is a made basket.
“That’s why it took some time to decide if the shot counts because we reviewed it frame-by-frame based on the slo-mo (slow motion) given to us by TV5 (the PBA’s broadcast partner),” Castro said.
Castro is fully aware of the online discussions, including the confusion surrounding the light not flashing at the same time as when the clock expired.
The right-hand man of PBA commissioner Willie Marcial couldn’t determine exactly why such was the case, but opted instead to give possible reasons.
“Like what I’ve mentioned, the lighting takes precedence over the game clock,” he said. “But maybe the next question is whether there’s a human-pressing delay factor.
“Maybe there’s one because there’s a human factor. The game clock timer would press the button when the player touches the ball legally within the playing area.
“Some people are also asking that it’s no longer about whether the basket counts or not, but if it was enough for Jayson to take a shot on two dribbles with 1.6. That’s also another contention,” Castro added.
Castro is hoping that his explanation can help clear the air on the debate that may rage on even after the series comes to an end.
Fans with different takes may never reach a satisfying resolution, and even for the PBA, there was no question it was one of its toughest calls.
“This might be one of the closest,” Castro said.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.