31 May 2015

No Action Against Erring "Shoe Refs"

Shoe Palpal
As expected, the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) has done squat to address the more important issue regarding the culpability of the referees who let the play involving Rico Maierhofer’s controversial 'shoe-palpal' stunt go uncalled in the Barako Bull-San Miguel Governors’ Cup game last 27 May.

Instead, the league has slapped Maierhofer PhP 20,000 penalty for his antic, which could have been avoided had the referees done their job: stop the game with a technical foul.

League commissioner Chito Salud ruled that Maierhofer's 'shoe-palpal' antic was a 'blatant misconduct that disrespects/ mocks the game' and is 'unprofessional in nature.'

League officials also had displayed their ignorance by justifying the referees inaction by saying there was no specific provision in the PBA rule book that covers the violation committed by Maierhofer.

However, Salud himself said in his decision penalizing Maierhofer that present league game rules are 'broad enough' to cover the bizarre play - and therefore could've been invoked by the referees in making a call during the game.

"While not among those specifically prohibited by existing rules, the said act can be considered to be in breach of the general conduct of games," said Salud.

"Hence, it can be classified as a technical foul for using a foreign object as an aid in performing an offensive or defensive move," he continued.

The question now is, what have they done against the referees? They know it is a "breach of the general conduct of games" so why have they not penalize or fired the official who did nothing?

Basketball fans pointed to a precedence in the National Basketball Association (NBA) where the act was appropriately punished with technical fouls - and not by huge fines.

One such incident in the NBA involved Los Angeles Lakers guard Ronnie Price, who lost his shoe then threw it at Golden State Warriors forward Andre Iguodala to stop a fastbreak attempt in a regular season game last year. He was slapped with a technical foul in the play.

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