Portlaoise Panthers: Irish basketball team refuse to replay last 0.3 seconds of quarter-final tie

Portlaoise Panthers have said they will refuse to replay the final 0.3 seconds of their match against Limerick Sport Eagles because it would be “completely against the spirit of basketball”.

Limerick Sport Eagles beat Portlaoise Panthers 80-78 on 23 March.

The Panthers appealed the result on the grounds a foul call, which led to the Eagles’ winning free throws, was awarded 1.6 seconds after the buzzer.

Basketball Ireland ordered the teams to replay 0.3 seconds of the game.

However, in a statement released on Wednesday, the Panthers said replaying the last 0.3 seconds of the Division 1 quarter-final would go against the “values of the game of basketball”.

“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 for appeal,” said the Panthers.

“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 not be 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.”

The Panthers were initially told by the National League Committee (NLC) the result would stand as a referee’s decision cannot be retrospectively overturned.

However, they were given the option to appeal to the National Appeals Committee (NAC).

The NAC ruled the match should be replayed in its entirety, but Basketball Ireland subsequently said the option to appeal was “granted in error”.

The NLC then ruled the fixture would not be replayed in full, but that the remaining 0.3 seconds should be played with the Eagles leading 80-78.

“We would like to sincerely wish Limerick Sport Eagles, UCD Marian and Tolka Rovers the very best of luck for the remainder of the play-offs,” added the Panthers.

Basketball Ireland released a statement later on Wednesday confirming “the matter is now closed”.

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