In a meeting that was set by the PBA Commissioner, Chito Narvasa on December 29, 2015 – the verdict has been passed for referees, Edward Aquino and Rommel Gruta, after the non-calls during the quarter-final game of Globalport Batang Pier and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel.
The controversy happened when Globalport’s Stanley Pringle held on to the ball for more than 5-seconds during the dying seconds of the overtime game with Barangay Ginebra.
In addition to that, another violation was missed by the referees as Pringle stepped in the half-court line when he was pressed by Ginebra’s Greg Slaughter and L.A. Tenorio.
The non-call resulted for Globalport Batang Pier to advance to face the Alaska Aces in a best-of-seven series ending the campaign of Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in the 2016 PBA Philippine PBA Cup.
Below is the official statement of the PBA regarding the suspension:
All the referees were present in the meeting with the Commissioner. In their opening statement, the referees accepted that they missed the call, they were apologetic and were ready to face the sanctions that would be imposed on them.
In the deliberation with the technical committee, it was determined that two (2) violations were not called. One was the 5-second ball hogging violation which was the responsibility of referee Rommel Gruta.
The second infraction was the backing violation of GlobalPort’s Stanley Pringle, whose responsibility was that of referee Edward Aquino’s.
The technical committee also determined that only referees Aquino and Gruta were liable for these missed calls.
As a result of these two non-calls, Barangay Ginebra was denied final ball possession.
The technical committee decided that both referees shall be suspended for the rest of the ongoing Philippine Cup effective immediately.
With Ginebra failing to submit a proper protest during their given timetable, Globalport still advances to the Semi-Finals.