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Portlaoise Panthers refuse to play 0.3 seconds and withdraw from quarter-finals

Portlaoise Panthers have said they will accept elimination from their Division 1 quarter-final after refusing to play 0.3 seconds of the game as ordered by Basketball Ireland.

In a statement issued this afternoon, the club said: "We think the ordering of 0.3 seconds to be replayed of our quarter-final is completely against the spirit of basketball and 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 nobody's interest and would not be adherent to the values of basketball.

"To be clear if we are instructed to take to the court for 0.3 seconds we will refuse to do so."

Portlaoise lost out to 80-78 in St Mary's Hall on Saturday, 23 March, with two converted free-throws by former Ireland captain Jason Killeen proving the difference between the sides in a tight encounter.

The Panthers, however, argued that the foul that led to those free-throws should not have stood, claiming that the final buzzer had sounded beforehand and pointing to the fact that they were not permitted the opportunity to line up again as the clock showed 0.0.

The Eagles' preparations for a home semi-final were disrupted when they were told the game had been cancelled in light of National Appeals Committee’s decision to replay the game in its entirety.

While the free throws were correctly awarded, the NAC 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.

The saga took another twist when National League Committee overruled that decision to replay the game in full and that instead the game would resume with only 0.3