PBA suspends officials in Magnolia-Ginebra tiff




The Manila Times



AFTER reviewing last Sunday’s showdown between Magnolia and Barangay Ginebra, the PBA decided to suspend the entire officiating crew for missing a crucial call against Hotshots guard Mark Barroca, who defended Gin Kings star Scottie Thompson as he was driving to the basket in the dying seconds of the fourth quarter. The Hotshots were up 92-91 at that point with 11.5 seconds to go, but the Kings had a chance to grab the lead with ball possession. Thompson went hard for a baseline drive, with Barroca defending and eventually, hitting a piece of his right arm as the onetime PBA Most Valuable Player missed his layup. Television replay showed the veteran Barroca indeed hit Thompson’s right arm as the latter went hard for the layup. Magnolia guard Jio Jalalon got the rebound and was subsequently fouled by Thompson himself in order to stop the game clock. “Unacceptable. There was contact. We failed to make a call,” PBA deputy commissioner Eric Castro said in a statement posted at the pro league’s website on Monday. The halted play saw a furious Ginebra coach Tim Cone charge inside the court to protest what he insists was a foul supposedly against Barroca. Jalalon went on to split his foul shots, while Christian Standhardinger’s long jumper — in an attempt to send the game into overtime — went airball on the other end, allowing Magnolia to complete its climb from a 26-point first-half deficit to book its fourth straight win for the season. As per PBA chief statistician, the 26-point lead was the biggest advantage Barangay Ginebra has squandered since it led by 28 in the third quarter of its 2019 Governors’ Cup, only to lose to NLEX 113-111 in overtime in Dubai.