Perth’s Bryce Cotton tries to give Xavier Cooks the slip in game 3 on the NBL grand final series. Picture: Getty Images
Perth’s Bryce Cotton tries to give Xavier Cooks the slip in game 3 on the NBL grand final series. Picture: Getty Images

‘Rules were rules’: NBL crown champions

Perth have been awarded this season's NBL title, the Wildcats handed the crown two days after their finals series against Sydney was called off.

The NBL cancelled the best-of-five series on Tuesday, with Perth leading 2-1 ahead of Friday's fourth game in Western Australia.

That decision came because Sydney, citing the threat of coronavirus, refused to play while Perth maintained they were ready and willing to continue.

 

Perth star Bryce Cotton was awarded the finals MVP. Picture: Getty Images
Perth star Bryce Cotton was awarded the finals MVP. Picture: Getty Images

That decision came because Sydney, citing the threat of coronavirus, refused to play while Perth maintained they were ready and willing to continue.

NBL owner Larry Kestelman said he was proud of, and respected the Kings' decision, but that "rules were rules".

He said the club had received the news with disappointment and grace, Kings owner Paul Smith tweeting his congratulations to the Wildcats after the decision was made public.

"As a human being I feel for players ... but the fact of the matter is we're in extraordinary circumstances and ... we were only left with one decision to make," he said.

"There's always going to be an asterisk next to this season, for all sorts of reasons ... we're all going to remember this one."

 

Andrew Bogut talks with referee Chris Reid during Game 3. Picture: Getty Images
Andrew Bogut talks with referee Chris Reid during Game 3. Picture: Getty Images

Perth guard Bryce Cotton was also awarded the Larry Sengstock Medal as finals MVP.

NBL commissioner Jeremy Loeliger was comfortable that the "logical conclusion" had been reached by following the letter of the law.

"Having considered all of that advice, we have concluded that there is only one outcome that is most appropriate in the circumstances of the league having made the decision to cancel games four and five of the finals series," he said. "We feel that the rules set out in the NBL operations manual are clear in this regard.

"In this instance, games four and five were cancelled by the League due to unforeseen circumstances pursuant to rule 34 (regarding game abandonment) of the NBL operations manual."

 

Originally published as 'Rules were rules': NBL crown champions


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