Last night, an exciting double overtime game between San Miguel and Air21 was overshadowed by a controversial call at the end of the first overtime. A shot by Ranidel De Ocampo was only counted as a two pointer despite the 4th replay angle of the C/S 9 coverage showed he was clearly behind the arch. The shot tied the game and sent it to a 2nd overtime period but would have given the Express the victory if it was deemed a 3 pointer.
The PBA rules state that in the last 2 minutes, a team has to challenge the call in order for the technical crew to even take a look at the possible mistake. The refs claim that the call was not challenged all the way until the 2nd overtime period started. The Air21 staff disagrees and says they attempted to challenge numerous times.
The Air21 players were so pissed off that they even went to the commissioner's row at the start of the 2nd game to confront the commissioner in full view of everyone at Araneta. I was doing the commentary for the 2nd game and I saw Ranidel talking to the Commissioner Barrios flanked by most of his teammates. Before the conversation heated up, Lito Alvarez, the team manager and governor for the Express intervened and told his players that there is a proper venue to "express" (no pun intended) their frustrations to the commissioner. I do applaud Mr. Alvarez for keeping the proper respect deserving of the office of the commissioner's office.
The replay angles of C/S 9 has brought about a lot of added value for the viewers of the PBA. The technical crew has indirectly asked Solar to limit the angles in the future for reasons many can just infer. But these new angles have put all of us on notice that much more can now be caught on tape. Whether it's an innpropriate gesture from a coach, a technical mistake by an official, or a flagrant foul on a player, most of the action during games and beyond are more readily available. The technology by Solar should improve the efforts of everyone in the league to increase efforts to follow rules, limit cheap shots, and officiate better.