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PBA chief says refs calling it right

MANILA, Philippines — PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa said yesterday the pro league’s pool of 16 referees has been performing above par this conference and with the Governors Cup semifinals around the corner, he expects the competition to be even more intense on the court as the officiating standards keep in step with the higher level of play.

“I haven’t sent home any referees from a game lately,” said Narvasa. “I think our pool of 16 has done a good job and I’m happy with the improved performance. Our innovation of rotating four referees is working well. The fourth referee is part of the team used in a game and helps in deciding calls in situations which require video consultation. The four work together as a unit. When we reach the semifinals, we’ll cut the pool to retain the higher-grade referees. We constantly review the performance of our referees and grade them so they’re compensated accordingly.”

Narvasa said unlike players, referees don’t receive bonuses. “The game day allowance is what you could consider their bonus,” said Narvasa. “From the eliminations to the quarterfinals, the game day allowance is P3,000 each to include the fourth referee. In the semifinals, it’s up to P4,000 and in the finals, to P5,000. The salary range for a referee is P20,000 to P45,000 a month, depending on the grade level.”

Narvasa said a penalty system keeps the referees on their toes. “We’ve instituted a penalty system under the principle of no work, no pay,” he said. “If a referee doesn’t perform up to par, he is suspended and misses at least one cycle of three games, meaning he foregoes his game day allowance which is big. Then, we also have a fine system. We fine a referee P200 for every missed or wrong call on traveling, goal tending or ball handling. Of course, referees are human and nobody’s perfect. They make mistakes just like NBA referees. When we review performance, we look at a referee’s position where he had a missed or wrong call. We evaluate each referee’s performance after every game so we try not to miss out on anything. Now, referees are quick to own up to calls and don’t resort to consulting the video every time there’s a deliberate foul. They’re more confident of making the right calls.”

Narvasa said the improved level of officiating has contributed to the higher standards of play. “We’ve taken out discretion from referees because the rules are clear to everyone,” he explained. “Coaches know how the referees will call it because we just follow the rules. So now, it’s up to the coaches and players to go out there and win the game. That’s why there’s a high level of competitiveness and unpredictability at least among the top eight contenders and we expect the bottom teams to catch up eventually. Who would’ve imagined that San Miguel Beer would drop from No. 1 to No. 6 in the standings, losing the twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals? Who would’ve imagined No. 8 Blackwater to beat No. 1 Meralco in the quarterfinals last Tuesday?”

Author: Joaquin Henson, Philippine Star
Full Article: http://www.philstar.com/sports/2017/09/29/1743814/pba-chief-says-refs-calling-it-right

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