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Portlaoise Panthers announce that they will refuse to replay 0.3 seconds of Limerick Eagles match

Portlaoise Panthers say that they will refuse to replay 0.3 seconds of their National Basketball Playoff match with Limerick Eagles.

Last week, the National Appeals Committee (NAC) sensationally ordered that Portlaoise Panthers’ quarter-final against Limerick Sport Eagles be replayed.

In the game which took place on Saturday March 23, former Irish international captain, Jason Killeen was adjudged to have been fouled in the act of shooting as the buzzer sounded.

Killeen scored the resulting free throws to give the Eagles a two-point win in St Mary’s Hall, 80-78.

Portlaoise lodged an appeal following the game on the grounds that the free throws should not have been permitted as the clock had expired at the same time that the foul had been called.

While the NAC found that the free throws were correctly awarded, it also ruled that the referees and match commissioner erred in not placing a fraction of a second back on the clock and allowing a restart of the game.

“Given that both referees and the commissioner erred, it would be a serious injustice not to grant a replay of the game. The NAC directs a full replay of the game at the same venue. The decision of the NAC is final,” they said.

However, the National League Committee then overturned this decision and decided that 0.3 seconds should be played instead.

But now Portlaoise Panthers say they will refuse to do this.

They said: “On Monday 1st April 2024, Portlaoise Panthers basketball club received notification from Basketball Ireland National league committee that the last 0.3 seconds of our playoff quarter final against Limerick Sport Eagles was to be played.

“To clarify and to correct some misinformation that has been circulating on social media the past week, our appeal was never based on the grounds that there should have been 0.3 seconds played.

“Our appeal was soley based on, and supported by video evidence, that the final foul call was 1.6 seconds after the buzzer had sounded.

“Initially the NAC (national appeals committee) found against this appeal but awarded a replay on the basis that there should have been 0.3 left. This was not what we appealed.

“The NLC (National League Committee) Initially overruled their own appeals processes and then later changed their position that ‘our option to appeal to the NAC was granted in error’.

“We would like to cleary state that at each step we followed the correct procedures as laid out by Sasketball Ireland but we feel we have not ben treated the same in return.

“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 for 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 nobodys 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 the play the 0.3 seconds we will refuse to do so.

“We would like to sincerely wish Limerick Sport Eagles, UCD Marian & Tolka Rovers the very best of luck for the remainder of the playoffs. 3 clubs who we have a great relationship with and respect on and off the court.

“It seems unfair that only one of you will get the opportunity to play Super League next season given the standard you and other teams in the league have set this year.

“We would also like to thank all the clubs and coaches from around all the leagues in all corners of the country who have been part in touch the past week with messages of support. We really appreciate it.

“Finally we would like to end this by acknowledging the incredible season our mens national league team have given us this year.

“It has been an amazing journey and you have made us dare to dream of being only the 3rd club in the country to currently be competing in both mens and womens Super Leagues.

“To all the players, Jack, Ciaran and Paul you have enjoyed a breakout season playing an exciting brand of basketball that has drawn crowds to our home venue like we have never seen before.

“People will assume the final game of the season will be one we’d like to forget for a long time but they couldn’t be more wrong, it’s one that will be remembered by everyone in Portlaoise for a long long time given the atmosphere and excitement you created.

“You have just given this a club and it’s supporters a taste for more nights just like that. Roll on next season.”

SEE ALSO – Basketball: Portlaoise Panthers ordered to replay 0.3 seconds of Division 1 playoff game