Euroleague Basketball’s independent disciplinary judge has come to a decision regarding the protest filed by Greek Euro league team Olympiacos Piraeus after their Euroleague 72-74 loss to Italian Montepaschi Siena on January, 18th. In a dramatic finale, with just 10 seconds on the clock, the timer froze for two or three seconds, Olympiacos missed a lay-up, and Siena went down the other end and scored with 1.7 seconds left.
You can read the full story on Court-Side, but the argument from the part of the Olympiacos protest was that if the clock had not frozen there would have been no time for Siena to break and score, resulting in a tie. The independent disciplinary judge has found that there is no grounds to uphold the protest, a decision that is sure to irk the Greek team.
The judge has declared the reasons behind his ruling:
• It seems apparent that neither team knew of the malfunction, so both played as normal.
• Both teams gained an advantage for the clock stopping. Olympiacos had extra time to construct their offensive play, which ultimately resulted in a missed lay-up, while Siena had time to break and score.
• No grounds to replay the game on the basis that two missed scoring opportunities should not result in a chance to dramatically alter the course of the result via playing the game again.
• Again, no team enjoyed an unfair advantage, and the essence of sport is to be fair. The outcome was just one of many variables, such as Olympiacos could have scored, Siena could have missed and so on.
The Judge also concluded that:
• The score is or was not abnormal.
• There is no movement for appeal, and the protest is dismissed without any further consideration.
The judge also took time to reference the game between game between BG Goettingen and Besiktas JK Cola Turka in the 2010-2011 Eurocup, which the Olympiacos protest had cited as a yard-stick for their protest. In that incident, the match was replayed because Goetitingen had gained an unfair advantage by a similar malfunction with the game clock.