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Ejected Breakers coach voices frustrations with officiating

Brendon Egan

Frustrated Breakers coach Mody Maor will consider speaking with the NBL office over refereeing inconsistencies following a lopsided foul count against Adelaide.

Maor was ejected for the first time in his coaching career after being slapped with two technical fouls while arguing his case with the referees at halftime.

The Breakers overcame Maor’s absence in the second half to topple the 36ers 96-83 in Christchurch on Thursday for a much-needed victory. The injury-hit Breakers move to eighth in the 10-team competition with a 4-7 record.

Maor’s ejection was the major storyline on the night, and he had to watch the action via a television in the team locker room in the second half. Assistant Daniel Sokolovsky took over head coaching duties as the Breakers held off a fourth-quarter fightback from Adelaide.

Maor was tossed out of the game after remonstrating with the referees in the middle of the court at the end of the first half. He was visibly upset after Tom Abercrombie was hit with his fourth personal foul late in the second quarter. The Breakers were on the wrong end of a 16-6 personal foul count in the first half. They finished with 26 fouls for the game, compared to Adelaide’s 15.

A clearly unhappy Maor was hit with a technical foul as he argued his case with the officials. He continued to sound off with crew chief Chris Reid signalling to Maor to join his team in the locker room before being stung with his second technical – forcing his ejection.

“I probably deserved one technical foul – the foul count was 16 to six. I haven’t said a word about the refereeing all season long and the stats and the numbers kind of show themselves there, but there’s a way things are done in professional basketball,” Maor said.

“Ejecting me over the conversation we had at halftime, I didn’t curse or anything like this. In my opinion, it’s completely against everything and it wasn’t warranted. One technical foul, yes, the ejection, 100% no.”

Maor would consider getting in touch with the NBL office about refereeing inconsistencies and Thursday’s foul count disparity. “That’s a good question,” Maor said when asked if he would contact the NBL office. ‘‘This is something that’s worth a discussion. We all have the same goal. We all care about our teams and our league.”

Despite racing out to a 53-41 halftime lead on the back of a dominant 37-17 start in the first quarter, the Breakers were whistled heavily in the first half. Abercrombie collected four personal fouls in the first half alone, while big man Mangok Mathiang picked up three.

Ejection drama aside, Maor was thrilled with how his side closed out the win as Adelaide threatened at the start of the fourth quarter, opening the term with a 12-3 run.

American duo Anthony Lamb (24 points, six rebounds, six assists) and Jackson-Cartwright (21 points, nine assists, six rebounds, three steals) were both outstanding in the win. Tall Blacks guard Izayah Le’afa drained seven threes in his 21 points, to go with several key defensive plays.

The Breakers haven’t won back-to-back games this season – something they will be desperate to achieve with a quick turnaround for today’s away clash with the South East Melbourne Phoenix (7.30pm tip NZ time).





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