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Wellington Abandon Protest, Nelson Through To Final

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Wellington Abandon Protest, Nelson Through To Final

Auckland, June 19 NZPA - The Wellington Saints have accepted their last-gasp National Basketball League (NBL) semifinal loss at Nelson last night, withdrawing a protest after the winning basket was confirmed as legitimate.

Nelson won a cliffhanger 83-82 at the Trafalgar Centre when Tall Black Tony Rampton forward tipped in a free throw by John Barber on the buzzer.

Barber had been fouled with 1.7secs left and made the first two attempts before the third cannoned off the rim -- Rampton pushed it through at the second attempt.

The Wellington Saints immediately protested, saying the clock had not been restarted correctly and the basket had been made after the buzzer.

Management from both teams and match officials spent about 45 minutes reviewing television footage of the incident before determining Rampton's basket was made with just 0.2secs remaining.

Rampton, who scored 14 points and grabbed 16 rebounds, was not aware of the time.

"I just chucked it up and hoped it went in," he said.

Nelson will play the winner of tonight's second semifinal between top seeds Waikato and fourth-placed Christchurch in Te Awamutu.

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