Monday, May 20, 2024

Portlaoise Panthers Withdraw Appeal As Farcical .3 Replay Makes World News |

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A decision by Basketball Ireland to order the replay of the last 0.3 seconds of a Portlaoise Panthers-Limerick Sport Eagles basketball game has sparked plenty of controversy, and made international news.

The decision came on Tuesday evening, via a statement from Basketball Ireland after the controversial ending of the quarter-final match up. Limerick Sport Eagles won the game 80-78 after former Ireland captain Jason Killeen scored two free-throws after he was fouled while attempting to score a buzzer beater. The foul was judged to have taken place before the buzzer so Killeen was allowed to take the free-throws and the Eagles won the tie.

The Panthers appealed the decision on the grounds that the clock was up before the foul was called. The National League Committee initially told Portlaoise that the referee’s decision was final but they could further appeal to the National Appeals Committee who subsequently declared the tie to have to be replayed. Basketball Ireland then released a statement on behalf of the NLC last night ordering the match to be replayed from the 0.3 seconds mark.

On Monday 25th March, the NLC informed Portlaoise Panthers that a referee’s decision cannot be overturned and the result from their game with Limerick Sport Eagles would stand. However it incorrectly stated that the club had the option to appeal to the National Appeals Committee (NAC).

On Wednesday 27th March the National Appeals Committee ruled that the game should be replayed in its entirety. Basketball Ireland and the National League Committee acknowledge this decision by the NAC.

However – as stated previously – this option to appeal to the NAC was granted in error by the National League Committee because on-court refereeing decisions cannot be overturned. The NLC has ruled that the fixture will not be replayed in full, however the remaining 0.3 seconds of the quarter-final, is to be played this week and Basketball Ireland will be in liaison with the clubs to determine when.

The decision raised so many questions – how many players would be involved, would the game be ticketed, etc. etc. – but it appears that we will be spared the spectacle.

Portlaoise Panthers Refuse To Play Replay

Today, the Portlaoise Panthers released a statement of their own on Instagram this morning saying they will not take part in the replay and that have accepted their elimination from the playoffs.


They did this on the grounds that their appeal didn’t ask for 0.3 seconds to be replayed as their appeal was “solely based on, and supported by video evidence, that the final foul call was 1.6 seconds after the buzzer was sounded.”

They went on further to say in the statement that they felt replaying 0.3 seconds wasn’t in the spirit of the game and don’t want Limerick to travel to replay the game.

We fully appreciate the disruption this has caused the clubs remaining in the Division 1 playoffs and it was never our intention for this to be dragged on for the length it has been by our governing body.

We think the ordering of 0.3 seconds to be replayed of our quarter-final is completely against the spirit of basketball and as said above was never the basis of appeal. We would never ask nor expect Limerick Sport Eagles, a club whom we hold in the highest regard, to travel to Portlaoise to play the remaining 0.3 seconds. It would be in nobody’s interest and would be the adherent to the values of the game of basketball. To be clear if we are instructed to take to the court to play the 0.3 seconds we will refuse to do so.

.3 Seconds Replay Debacle Makes International News

This is obviously not an ideal situation for anyone involved and the reaction to it hasn’t been kind to the authorities in involved. Many questioned the worth of having 0.3 seconds replayed while others wondered if the authority of the referees was being into question.

The news was then picked up by international publications. The BBC, the Guardian and RNZ of New Zealand have ran the story in what is a rare occurrence for Irish basketball that they make headlines internationally.

Portlaoise’s intervention today means there will likely be no .3 second replay, sparing the world of one of the most surreal replays of all time.

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