The NBL1 West has conceded the wrong call was made in awarding the Geraldton Buccaneers a game-winning shot after the buzzer in last Saturday night’s 85-82 win over the Rockingham Flames at Active West Stadium.
Scores were locked at 82-apiece as the clock approached zero in the final quarter of an absorbing back-and-forth contest between the Flames and 2019 SBL champion Buccs, when Flames skipper Ryan Godfrey’s late shot was rebounded by Buccs centre Mat Wundenburg, who launched a near full-court bomb that banked off the backboard and went in.
The shot appeared to come after the buzzer, however the three game officials convened at half court and, following a short discussion, ruled the shot was in time and would count.
However, on Monday morning, NBL1 West general manager Adam Bowler said upon review the shot was released after time had expired and should have been disallowed, sending the game into overtime.
“Our officials are only human, and if you watch the game back in real-time, it is difficult to tell if the shot was released in time, and it is not until you slow it down and use the video system can you tell if the clock was expired when the shot was released,” Bowler said in a statement.
“It is important to note, as per the NBL1 rules, our officials do not have access to an instant replay system, so they have to make a call as they see it, which is an incredibly difficult task for this particular situation.
“It was an amazing shot and a great win by the Buccs, however you do have to feel for the Rockingham Flames losing a game that possibly deserved to have gone into overtime.”
Flames coach Ryan Petrik was philosophical in his assessment and hoped the circumstances surrounding the loss would galvanise his side, who now sit sixth on the NBL1 West ladder with a 2-2 win/loss record.
“As I said to the boys after the game, it didn’t rob us of a win it just voided the chance to go to overtime,” Petrik said.
“If the right call was made we still only had a 50-50 chance of winning, so it didn’t rob us of a clear win or loss. Had we been up by one point and it happened I might be more frustrated, but basketball is a game of inches and it is what it is.
“Hopefully it galvanises the boys… we need to move on and be better. We’ll do our usual film review and train hard for Perry Lakes and Perth this weekend, it’s that straight forward.”
The Flames were also left to rue their profligacy from the charity stripe, where they left five points after making just 10 of 15 attempts, but there were positives too, including the continued good form of young guns Travis Durnin (18 points and 9 rebounds) and Callum Beard (17 points and 7 rebounds), and the successful return to action of Greg Hire (14 points and 12 rebounds).
The Flames face Perry Lakes at Bendat Basketball Centre on Friday before hosting the Perth Redbacks in the Anthony Exeter Cup on Saturday night.
Doors at Mike Barnett Sports Complex open at 5.30pm, with the women tipping off at 6pm and the men’s action from 8pm.