By Jonas Terrado
Filipino referee Bong Pascual continued to make an appearance in high-profile FIBA World Cup matches Wednesday when he officiated France’s 89-79 quarterfinal upset of the United States in Dongguan, China.
Pascual earned the nod as one of three officials in the contest that saw the French cagers end the Americans’ bid for an unprecedented third straight World Cup and arrange a semifinal clash with Argentina in Beijing.
His performance in the earlier stages perhaps convinced FIBA officials to enlist Pascual in the quarterfinals, his fourth stint calling a match featuring the NBA-flavored Americans.
The 49-year-old handled the USA’s thrilling 93-92 overtime win over Turkey in the first round held in Shanghai, 69-53 defeat of the Giannis Antetokounmpo-led Greece and 89-73 beating of Brazil in the second round in Shenzhen.
He hopes that his officiating duties in the France-US tussle will be enough to appear in one of the semifinal matches set Friday in the Chinese capital.
Australia and 2006 winner Spain meet in the other semis pairing. The World Cup Final is set Sunday.
Otherwise, Pascual will likely be called in the classification matches for fifth to eighth places which starts Thursday night.
US plays Serbia in Dongguan and Czech Republic battles Poland in Shanghai, with the winners arranging a match for fifth place on Saturday in Beijing.