PBA welcomes first woman referee in Janine Nicandro
Change is coming in the PBA.
Just days after the league announced women referees would officiate in games, a lady donned the black-and-white stripes for the first time in history in the opening game of the PBA Governors’ Cup.
Janine Nicandro was the first of two lady referees promoted from the D-League to the PBA and the 23-year-old immediately made an impact.
The Pagsanjan, Laguna native called a quick technical foul on Mark Borboran midway through the third quarter, which earned the admiration of PBA Commissioner Chito Narvasa.
Nicandro admitted she felt nervous officiating her first PBA game, admitting feeling pressured from the players.
“Napressure din po sa players pero kailangan ko pong ma-overcome yun,” said Nicandro who had three years of experience in the PBA D-League.
Nicandro is Marketing graduate of Laguna State Polytechnic University where she also played four years of varsity basketball.
It was Celso Rivera, a former PBA referee, who encouraged her to take up the career of a PBA official.
Nicandro said she just has to get used to the pressure of being in the PBA, especially from hecklers.
“Na imagine ko na rin po yun [officiating in marquee games like Ginebra versus Star], tingin ko naman po masaya, kailangan lang trabahuhin,” said Nicandro. “Kaya naman po yun, kakayanin.”
“Sinabihan na rin naman po kami na ayun nga maba bash kami, mababatikos ka, so handa na kami.”
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