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PBA Taps 2 Women As Referees For The First Time Ever

'We believe in the ability of women and we want them to play a more active role in the league,' says PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa.
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Earlier this month, the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) announced that their first ever women referees—Edith Botecario (left in photo below) and Janine Nicandro (right in photo below)—would make their debut in the PBA Governors' Cup.


In his statement, PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa expressed confidence in general. "We believe in the ability of women and we want them to play a more active role in the league. I think having women referees in our games will be good for the league long term. Gone are the days when the game of basketball was confined to just the men," he said.

Narvasa added, "The role of women in society transcends beyond the confines of home and office. Women of this generation are actively involved in just about anything and everything and their presence and achievements have been acknowledged the world over. In the field of sports, women are just as successful as the men. Their impact in the global market is simply awesome. So I think tapping women referees will be good for the PBA."

Nicandro officiated in the July 15 game between the Phoenix Fuel Masters and the Meralco Bolts. According to InterAksyon.com, she "immediately made her presence felt when she called a technical foul on Phoenix swingman Mark Borboran for use of profane language."

Narvasa complimented Nicandro's call, saying, "It goes to show that she knows what she’s doing. It was a swift, no-hesitation decision on her part."