PBA has its first female referee in Janine Nicandro

PBA has its first female referee in Janine Nicandro
Janine Nicandro is the PBA's first female referee.

The opening game of the 2016 PBA Governor's Cup had a little history behind it after the first female referee worked an official match for Asia's oldest play for pay league.

23-year-old Janine Nicandro officiated her first game in the PBA during the Meralco-Phoenix matchup which the Bolts won, 108-105.

"Nakaka-tense po, nakaka-kaba," Nicandro said of her experience. "Pero masaya po."

"Na-pressure po pero kailangan natin i-overcome," she added.

Nicandro added to her historic first assignment by calling a technical foul on Phoenix forward Mark Borboran for use of profane language.

While she just had her first official game in the PBA, the marketing major from Laguna State Polytechnic University spent three years in the PBA D-League honing her craft.

The former basketball varsity player also shared that it was former referee and fellow Laguna native Celso Rivera that convinced her to try and give the job a go.

With her first game already done, Nicandro is already looking forward to working on bigger games.

"Nai-imagine ko na po, tingin ko po masaya. Kailangan ko po trabahuhin pero kakayanin," she said.

She's also ready to feel the inevitable wrath of fans from the stands. In fact, she already heard some during her opening assignment.

"May narinig po akong konti pero mas marami po yung naririning nating positive so yun na lang," Nicandro said.

It was a long time coming for the PBA to have its first female referee in Nicandro. In comparison, the NBA had its first female official back in 1997 when Violet Palmer worked a game.

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