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Basketball teams were ordered to replay final 0.3 seconds of controversial quarterfinal. The losing side has refused | CNN


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An Irish basketball team says it won’t replay the final 0.3 seconds of a playoff quarterfinal after it ended in controversial fashion, despite being instructed to do so by Basketball Ireland.

The Limerick Sport Eagles beat the Portlaoise Panthers 80-78 on March 23, but have yet to play their semifinal due to confusion over the validity of their quarterfinal win.

After the second-tier game had finished, the Panthers argued that the two free-throws, which subsequently won Limerick the game, should not have stood because they were awarded after the game ended.

The Panthers said “video evidence” supported its claim that the foul call came 1.6 seconds after the final buzzer. CNN has not been able to verify this.

After days of confusion, the teams were eventually told to replay 0.3 seconds of the game but, on Wednesday, the Panthers said it would refuse to do so because it was “completely against the spirit of basketball” before wishing Limerick well in the next round.

Basketball Ireland, the game’s governing body, had tried to clear up the confusion with a joint statement alongside the National League Committee (NLC) on Tuesday.

Basketball Ireland said the NLC had incorrectly told the Panthers that they could contest the result of the game through the National Appeals Committee (NAC).

On March 27, the NAC had ruled the entire game should be replayed in full. The Portlaoise Panthers said they were initially told the NAC ruling was final.

However, Basketball Ireland said the NLC then overruled that decision and confirmed only the final 0.3 seconds will be replayed at some point this week.

“Basketball Ireland will be in liaison with the clubs to determine when,” a statement from the governing body said.

The statement added that the Panthers would not be able to appeal the latest decision by the NLC, which quoted International Basketball Federation (FIBA) regulations in its ruling.

However, on Wednesday, the Panthers said it would never expect either team to replay such a small amount of time, before conceding the defeat.

“It would be in nobody’s interest and would be adherent to the values of the game of basketball,” the Panthers said.

“To be clear, if we are instructed to take to the court to play the 0.3 seconds we will refuse to do so.”

CNN has reached out to Limerick Sport Eagles for comment about the controversy. The team had previously apologized to fans who had bought tickets for the semifinal against Moy Tolka Rovers which should have been played on March 30.

CNN has also reached out to Basketball Ireland and FIBA for comment.

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