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BEBL eena hot waata… AGAIN!

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Game 3 of the BEBL finals to be replayed?

by Charles Gladden

BELIZE CITY, Mon. July 8, 2024

After a very controversial ending to game 3 of the Belize Elite Basketball League (BEBL) finals, which ended with the Belize City Defenders winning the game over the Belize Hurricanes by a single point, 87-86, and leading the series, 2-1, it was announced by the league that game 3 will be replayed in its entirety.

The league’s Appeals Committee decided that the game would be replayed after the Belize Hurricanes protested the final minute of the fourth quarter due to a decision by the referee to remove two points from their score after a basket was made. Their decision was based on a technicality within FIBA rules, which indicates that two points can’t be deducted after a basket is made. In this instance, when the referee reviewed the previous play, it was discovered that the Hurricanes had committed two offenses – an 8-second and a 24-second violation – which had not been called. Thus, the referee removed the two points, and as a result the Hurricanes protested the referee’s decision.

After the Appeals Committee reviewed the details of the protest, they ruled in favor of the Hurricanes, who also requested to have the game be replayed from the 88-82 mark (after the basket was made) with 36.5 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter of game 3, and that this final portion of game 3 be played on the same day that game 4 was set to be played. However, the Defenders appealed the decision of the Appeals Committee, forcing the league to postpone game 4.

Amandala reached out to the league’s Commissioner, Glen Gill, who informed us that game 3 will be replayed on July 26 after the XX U-21 Women’s Central American Volleyball Championship, which will be taking place in the Civic Center.

This decision did not sit well with the Defenders, who released a statement about that decision.

“A referee’s error cannot be protested. The Appeals Tribunal has ordered the replay of the entire game. We vehemently disagree with this finding as it is contrary to FIBA’s Protest Procedures which prohibit protests from being lodged based on a referee’s error … It is illogical that on the one hand, the Appeals Tribunal would have agreed that it was a referee’s error, but on the other hand, not find that as such, it could not be protested,” it said.

The statement follows by saying that Commissioner Gill had scheduled the dates for the game to be replayed without communicating with the Defenders organization. Amandala questioned him about this statement, but Gill has not yet responded to our question.

The Defenders’ release also accused the league of showing bias in their decisions. “The consistent neglect of duty and malfeasance on the part of the BEBL’s appointed bodies and the Office of the Commissioner, as well as the stranglehold which one team seems to have over the decision-making of all of them, must come to an end,” it said.

It could probably be the first time in professional sports in Belize that a game in a finals series has to be replayed due to such reasons.

Amandala reached out for comment from the Defenders organization, who referred us to their initial statement and noted that legal advice has been sought.

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