NBL admits mistake in Taipans playing 14 players
The NBL has taken responsibility for allowing Cairns to use 14 players during last Friday night's semifinal loss to the Perth Wildcats.
The Wildcats were surprised when Anthony Fisher, Tevin Jackson and Jack Madgen entered the game with just over a minute remaining.
Under NBL rules, only 12 players are allowed to take the court in one match.
But with the game beyond reach, Taipans coach Aaron Fearne decided to protect his stars for tonight’s must-win clash at Perth Arena.
NBL operations manager Guy Neville said the league incorrectly gave the Taipans permission.
"It is 12 players (that are permitted), but there was an administrative oversight from our behalf with the officials on the ground," he said. “That was an error.
“It was questioned prior to the game and the official on the ground gave them the green light. We’ve spoken to the Wildcats about it, made them aware of it and it won’t happen again.”
The Wildcats will advance to the grand final if they beat Cairns tonight.
Victory will ensure they have a seven-day break between games and that will be a significant advantage in the grand final series, which has been extended this season to a best-of-five contest.
Illawarra tied their semi-final series against Adelaide yesterday. The decider will be played in Adelaide on Thursday night.
Star Wildcats import Bryce Cotton credits the team’s unselfish attitude for its dramatic rise.
The Wildcats have won eight of their 12 matches since the arrival of the explosive point-guard, jumping from sixth on the ladder. Cotton poured in 34 points in the 91-69 win over the Taipans last week.
“We’re playing great team basketball,” Cotton said.
“Guys are sticking to their roles, everybody plays for the other guy next to them.
“That’s just the biggest thing. There’s no selfish guys on the team and nobody has ego. It makes it that much easier to play on the floor.”