Gravitating towards a more in-depth manner of officiating, the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) adapts a regulation from its Western counterpart, providing coaches an opportunity to challenge immediate calls. Regardless of the referees’ experience and ability to perform under pressure, errors are inevitable, as technology poses a tool to limit the margin of error, especially in the closing minutes.
News of the league’s implementation surfaced yesterday, the proposal procured by PBA Deputy Commissioner Eric Castro in collaboration with the league’s technical committee. The governing body includes representatives of the league’s 12 teams—all voting favorability towards the intended adjustment.
“Gusto ito lahat ng coaches (The coaches like all of them),” Castro mentions.
The coach challenge system allows contesting immediate calls, providing each team with one challenge per half (not stackable) as long as they possess at least one timeout. Similar to the National Basketball Association, if successfully reviewed, the coach who requested the challenge will merit the favorability of the call, incurring a timeout if unsuccessful.
Coming off a tightly contested Governor’s Cup finale, pre-season matchups through the ‘PBA on Tour’ campaign will feature several rule changes on an on-trial basis. The two-month exhibition features extensive 17-man rosters through 11 games with no reported championship contention on the line.
‘PBA on Tour’ will commence on May 21, 2023, seeing the clash of the NLEX Road Warriors and Blackwater Bossing undergoing adjustments to the officiating system.