10 Nov 2015

ANBL stands down refs after Breakers game

5:22 am on 10 November 2015

The Australian National Basketball League has implemented a rule change and stood down two referees in the wake of the controversial decisions which helped Melbourne United claim a comeback victory over New Zealand Breakers on Sunday.

Breakers guard Corey Webster.

Breakers guard Corey Webster. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Breakers led United by one point with nine seconds remaining in the match and had earned a foul, just a split second before Melbourne captain Chris Goulding tumbled to the floor.

It meant Breakers shooting guard, Corey Webster, was penalised for a dead-ball foul, meaning both teams had two shots from the free-throw line before Melbourne automatically retained possession.

New Zealand's Alex Pledger only managed to sink one of his, while Goulding sunk both his to level the scores before United's final drive resulted in another controversial foul call.

This allowed Melbourne to seal the match and continue their nine-match unbeaten streak to start the season.

But the NBL said after a substantial review that the rules had been applied incorrectly during the dying seconds of the fixture.

And with the rules that existed, there was no scope for a review of the decision on the Instant Replay System.

That has now been changed.

"A new rule will be implemented with immediate effect, allowing any decision in the last two minutes of a game to be referred for review by the Instant Replay System at the referees' discretion," the NBL said in a statement.

"Further, the two referees who were most closely involved are being stood down for further training and review.

"The NBL acknowledges that referees across all codes will make mistakes and that while nobody is infallible, the NBL continuously strives to raise the standard of its players, its coaches and its referees."

The likes of NBL and Boomers great Andrew Gaze and current Utah Jazz small forward Joe Ingles were highly critical of how the match was allowed to conclude.

Said Gaze on SEN radio: "It was a shocking, shocking way for a game to end in basketball. What a shemozzle, that is just umpires not understanding the spirit of the game, the way it should be played and that is just an unfortunate mistake, they've made a bad mistake."

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs

We have regular online commentary of local and international sport.