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PBA commish Narvasa ‘not too happy’ with officiating in Alaska-GlobalPort Game 2

OUT OF HAND. The Commissioner feels the refs could have done a better job controlling this situation. File photo from Josh Albelda/Rappler

OUT OF HAND. The Commissioner feels the refs could have done a better job controlling this situation.

File photo from Josh Albelda/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) commissioner Chito Narvasa says he was unhappy with the indecisiveness of officials during Game 2 of the Alaska-GlobalPort semifinals on Wednesday, January 6.

The game, which was won by Alaska to tie the series at 1-1, was marred by a commotion that took place in the first quarter and led to 13 technical fouls. 

The commotion started when players Jay Washington and Calvin Abueva got into a shoving match, and eventually players, coaches, and officials from each team joined in, as well as the league commissioner.

“I was not too happy. They could have been more decisive, especially in separating the players and stopping it immediately,” Narvasa told Rappler in an exclusive interview the following day. “But that’s something that we will have to discuss and work on.”

The contest tied a PBA record for most technical fouls in a game with 16. The following day, the league fined all those involved a total of P91,200, with Abueva getting most of penalties.

“We never thought it would escalate into that,” Narvasa admitted, specifying how things got out of hand as players left their benches to get in the action. 

“We always think that the other players will come in - which is not their fight - to come in and pacify, not to shove people.”

Since becoming league commissioner this season, Narvasa has put an emphasis on improving PBA officiating, which includes an education for league referees on better decision-making.

“I think that’s what we’re working on… I told them already, the evolution of basketball for a long, long time - everything’s been given emphasis really on camps, on the basketball player and coaching - but no emphasis given to the development of referees, and that’s what we’re trying to do now,” Narvasa said.

“To understand the officiating,” he added. “That’s what I want them first to understand. If the calls are made, all of us will be able to know if the call is properly made. That’s the first thing I want to do.”

Narvasa admits one of his current goals is to draw interest in the PBA from more of the younger generation, but to accomplish that, he feels game officiating must be top-notch.

“Can you imagine your basketball camps teaching 6-year-olds, 'This is the way to dribble, this is travelling,’ all these things. And then you come to the PBA, you do not see that. You see the travelling here, it’s not being called. You see the lifting here, it’s not being called,” the commissioner explained.

“You see the bumping and grinding, it cannot be that way,” he added. “So that’s what I want to see. I want to win the kids back here, so that when they see the PBA, ‘Oh that’s what I want to be, that’s who I want to be, that’s how I want to play.’” – Rappler.com