MANILA, Philippines -- Referee Kenny Hallig made a wrong call when he whistled TNT's Brian Heruela for a foul while defending Paul Lee in Game 3 of the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup Finals.
This was the assessment made by the PBA's technical committee upon reviewing the game, which the Magnolia Hotshots won 106-98. The Tropang GIGA still lead the best-of-seven series, 2-1.
"We made a wrong call, we admit that. No excuses," PBA Deputy Commission Eric Castro said on Tuesday.
Hallig had called a foul on Heruela while he challenged Lee on a three-pointer with three minutes left in the second quarter. Replays showed that there was no contact on the play.
The foul call drew great criticism from fans, and TNT owner Manny V. Pangilinan would later tweet that Game 3 featured the "worst officiating" he's seen.
"Admittedly there was no contact," said Bong Pascual, the PBA's head of officials.
Hallig was immediately removed from the game and will not officiate another game in the series, PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial said yesterday.
Both Castro and Pascual vowed that the officials will do a better job moving forward.
"We have to move on and do a better job in the next games, plain and simple," said Castro.
"Things like this happen. Referees are humans. Magkakamali't magkakamali sila. But their mistakes don't go unpunished," said Pascual, for his part.