MANILA, Philippines -- A Filipino referee has been tapped to work in the men's and women's basketball competitions in the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games this July.
Ferdinand "Bong" Pascual, a veteran of several FIBA events and the supervisor of referees in the PBA, will officiate basketball games for the second consecutive Olympics.
"It's a great honor and wonderful gift. I'm celebrating my birthday in Tokyo. Eto na talaga ang aking last hurrah dahil 'di na ako bumabata," said Pascual, as quoted by the PBA website.
Pascual will turn 51 during the Olympics.
He has previously officiated basketball games in the Rio de Janeiro Games in 2016,, as well as the last two editions of the FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain in 2014 and in China in 2019.
During the 2019 FIBA World Cup, Pascual officiated games involving the United States, including their games against Turkey and Greece in the group stages.
According to the PBA website, Pascual will also work as part of the officiating crew in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament that is set in Victoria, Canada from June 29 to July 4.
"This Olympics is my last hurrah because of my age, mahirap nang mag-prepara, and because of my commitment with the PBA," said Pascual.
"I know this is an honor, not just for me, but for the country," he also said.