PBA: Referee who made questionable Game 3 call removed from finals series

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 25 2021 05:05 PM

TNT guard Brian Heruela was on the receiving end of a questionable call in Game 3 of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals. PBA Media Bureau.
TNT guard Brian Heruela was on the receiving end of a questionable call in Game 3 of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals. PBA Media Bureau.

MANILA, Philippines -- The referee who made the questionable call against TNT's Brian Heruela in Game 3 of the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup finals will no longer officiate the rest of the best-of-seven series.

PBA commissioner Willie Marcial confirmed on Monday that the referee who made the call has been removed from the roster of game officials.

"Mismo doon, noong pagkatawag na 'yun, tumawag na ako sa kanila, kinausap ko na sila, kung ano nangyari. Ineksplika sa akin," said Marcial.

"Mapapansin mo, hindi ko na pinabalik 'yun, hindi na namin pinabalik. Tinanggal ko na rin sa series na 'to. 'Di na tatawag 'yun," he added.

Officiating Game 3 were crew chief Peter Balao, Sherwin Pineda, Kenny Hallig, and Janine Nicandro.

The incident came with three minutes left in the second quarter and Magnolia clinging to a 43-39 lead. Lee pulled up for a three-pointer with Heruela defending him, and a whistle was blown as the referee called a foul on Heruela.

Replays showed that the TNT guard did not touch Lee on the play, however.

 

Lee made two free throws, and Magnolia went on to win the game, 106-98, to get back into the best-of-seven series after losing Games 1 and 2 in blowout fashion.

TNT team owner Manny V. Pangilinan called attention to the officiating after the game, saying Game 3 featured the "worst officiating" he's seen.