There have been 17 games played in the PBA On Tour so far and since the introduction of the head coach’s challenge on an experimental basis, 11 were unsuccessful with eight successful. An unsuccessful challenge takes away a team’s full timeout so to be able to challenge, a coach must still own at least one full timeout. In the PBA On Tour, one challenge is allowed per half but if it isn’t availed of in the first half, it isn’t carried over to the second.
NLEX coach Frankie Lim was the first to call a challenge on the inaugural PBA On Tour game against Blackwater in Caloocan last May 21. A foul was called on NLEX’ Sean Anthony and Lim challenged it. Upon review, the challenge was determined to be successful. Instead of Anthony called for the foul, it was reversed to Blackwater’s Josh Torralba. In the San Miguel Beer-Barangay Ginebra game last Sunday, CJ Perez was called for traveling after regaining possession of the ball from a block of his shot. San Miguel coach Jorge Gallent challenged the call and it was deemed successful. Of the 19 challenges from the start of the PBA On Tour, close to 60 percent were unsuccessful.
“All rule changes will be on a trial basis,” said PBA deputy commissioner Eric Castro. “We will finalize the rule changes, if any, at our next Competition Committee meeting before we open the next season (on Oct. 15). We had a rocky start with the coach’s challenge but we’re working on it. It’s a welcome opportunity to further improve officiating.”
Meralco active coaching consultant Nenad Vucinic said from a personal standpoint, he welcomes any rule that preserves the fairness of the game. He noted that if a fourth referee at the sidelines could be empowered to review calls as necessary, it may not even require a coach’s challenge. “A lot of positives in the coach’s challenge because in the end, we want the calls to be the right calls,” said Vucinic. “To give credit to referees, it’s easy for us to view the replay if the calls are right or not but they have to do it in real time. This is a step to making the right calls but when you think about it, one challenge in a half is nothing, really because you need to save it for the end of the game in case there is a disputed call. On the other hand, you can’t have coaches challenging every time they think it’s a wrong call as it would be a circus. It would be good if we have a fourth referee and the correctible errors can be corrected without the challenge from the coaches. If the fourth referee sees a wrong call, he intervenes. But one challenge is good, especially if you keep it until the end and there is a dispute in a close game at the last minute, you can use it and make a difference between winning or losing.”
It’s possible that when the next season begins, the PBA could keep the coach’s challenge but like in the NBA, limit it to one per game each team and if unsuccessful, a full timeout is charged. The implication is charging a timeout removes the opportunity to air TV commercials during the eliminated timeout. In the PBA On Tour, there are four potential coach’s challenges and four potential opportunity losses. If it’s down to one challenge per game each team, there will be only two potential opportunity losses. Overall, the coach’s challenge is a positive rule. It not only is able to correct a wrong call but also educates fans on the nuances of the game. The downside is a successful challenge puts the referee who made the wrong call in a bad light but if it’s for fairness, why not? Referees will learn from their mistakes and over time, the rate of success or failure will determine if their performance is improving or not.2023-06-08T16:32:03Z dg43tfdfdgfd