Challenge accepted: PBA to institute call review next season
The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) will be introducing a challenge system in its next season, a move that will minimize what coach Yeng Guiao said is the intimidation factor that powerful teams have over referees.
“We are still going to have the Competition Committee go through (our proposal) but I’m confident that it is going to get approval,” PBA commissioner Willie Marcial told the Inquirer.
In postgame remarks Saturday, Guiao and TNT coach Chot Reyes added their voices to the rising clamor for a system that could be used by coaches to contest close calls during late-game situations.
And for Guiao, the Rain or Shine taskmaster, the process will allow teams outside of the resource-deep squads to have some sort of an equalizer during tight games.
“[The challenge system] actually gives the coaches some control over officiating,” Guiao said. “[And] I think that’s going to be healthy for the league.”
“There’s an ‘intimidation’ factor, whether [referees] admit it or not,” the mercurial coach added, a reference to how rich teams in the league often get the benefit of the doubt on close calls during tight games. “(The new system) lessens that.”
Reyes, who coaches one of those well-funded squads, also threw his support to the system
“Well, I think one of the positives of that last incident was in our discussion with comm Willie. We really had a serious discussion about it,” he said. Reyes was recently fined by the league after his outburst over a questionable call that practically decided Magnolia’s 94-92 victory over TNT last Oct. 5.
“And I think it’s about time that we put that here … because every league in the world has it,” added Reyes, who also calls the shots for the national team.
The PBA will have its hands full implementing a system that will carry additional logistical requirements like more cameras in venues to provide the league with better angles to review a challenge.
“We have to [figure out] the mechanics of it all—how it’s going to be implemented, and when it is going to be available,” he said.
The PBA has come under fire for not having such a system. The University Athletic Association of the Philippines and the National Collegiate Athletic Association—two of the country’s leading varsity leagues have installed their version of the system a couple of months ago, ahead of their new seasons.
The two amateur leagues were followed by the Premier Volleyball League earlier this month.
Marcial revealed that the PBA already considered instituting a dispute system around 2019, shortly after the National Basketball Association (NBA) unveiled theirs.
Guiao said the introduction of the system will be a big help to teams and is something that cannot be abused by coaches.
“Just like what I’ve said earlier, it gives the coaches a semblance of control,” he said. “I don’t think it’s something that could be abused. It will be used responsibly.” INQ