The referees who let a grand final game-winning basket stand even though the clock had expired have come under fire from UC Capitals coach Paul Goriss after controversial calls robbed the Caps of a record eighth championship.
The last five seconds of game two of the 2018-19 WNBL grand final series descended into mayhem after officials failed to make two blatant calls that cost the Capitals the game.
With the Capitals leading by a point and with only 5.5 seconds on the clock, Adelaide’s Lauren Nicholson blatantly travelled before passing the ball to her captain Nicole Seekamp. Seekamp’s championship-defining shot rolled in and was counted, even though replays showed she was still touching the ball when the clock expired.
The controversial decisions gave Adelaide a 74-73 win over the Capitals, ending the Caps 12-game winning streak and forcing the series to go to a third and final game this Saturday evening (16 February) at AIS Arena.
Double dribbles in WNBL are the same as travels in NBA…. Play on, nothing to see here ??? pic.twitter.com/ZdXQaJePpZ
— Jimjams Mackiemoo (@mackdaddymakeya) February 13, 2019
Though the Caps were their worst enemy with their field goal shooting at a low 34 per cent and their turnovers costing them nine points, Canberra Capitals coach Paul Goriss was left fuming at the referees and said the game was taken out of the side’s control.
“We can play better than what we did. I think the game was taken out of our control in some situations and I am disappointed with the end result but we can hold our heads high that we came down here and under some trying circumstances lost the game,” he said on Wednesday night (13 February).
“I’m proud of the girls, they continue to fight,” Goriss said. “I’m at a loss to know some of the calls and some of the situations people were put under.
“I’m flabbergasted in a way with how the game was, especially in that second half. I’m proud of the girls’ effort, they didn’t give up and they play hard together. There were some things totally out of our control that changed the game.”
What a moment last night! Re-live Nicole Seekamp's game winner for Adelaide Lightning in Game 2 of the 2018/19 Grand Final series!Game 3 will be hosted by University of Canberra Capitals on Saturday evening at 5pm local time! #WNBL19Finals
Posted by WNBL on Wednesday, 13 February 2019
It is not the first time the Capitals have been left seething due to referees’ decisions this season. Goriss slammed the referees in a post-match press conference in November after Kelsey Griffin was left with a cut to her head after an errant elbow.
Goriss believes “everyone will see the truth” when they see the footage of the controversial shot that sent the WNBL grand final series to a deciding game three.
“If everybody has a look at the last five seconds and the last one second, everyone will see the truth,” Goriss said.
“Everybody just go back and watch the film, everybody go back and watch the light light-up and what was on the scoreboard. Everybody go back and watch that.”
Imma just leave this here…? pic.twitter.com/N9pG7A74ny
— Dan Helson (@HelFisher23) February 13, 2019