Player welfare at risk from OT game delays

Brad Elborough
The Wildcats and Bullets were forced to start their match over 30 minutes later than scheduled

The NBL needs to address its current tactic of delaying the second game of a double-header due to earlier games going into overtime.

That's according to two of the league's top coaches.

Brisbane tactician Andrej Lemanis said it was a player welfare issue and expects the league to look into it.

The start time for the clash in Perth between the Wildcats and Bullets was delayed more than 30 minutes on Sunday due to the earlier game going into overtime.

Perth coach Trevor Gleeson said the WA-based club would address it with the league at the end of the season.

"There has to be some more protocols from the NBL," Gleeson said.

"It's something we will raise in the off season. On the east coast, they don't have double-headers on the same night, so it's usually us.

"If they play the game and put us on live on NBL.com.au and stream it and then join us after... it's certainly an upset waiting 30 minutes for the start of the game.

"It wouldn't happen in AFL or other codes."

The Sydney Kings needed one extra five-minute overtime period to beat South East Melbourne Phoenix 99-96 on Sunday.

The advertised start for the game in Perth was 2pm, but did not begin until 2:32pm.

A court-side clock stopped at 1:55pm showing five minutes until tip-off, and then reset to nine minutes at the conclusion of the other game.

Brisbane's Australian Boomer Jason Cadee said that the delay meant some players were on court for up to 90 minutes warming up before the game.

He said the Bullets planned their bus trips from hotels on road trips on the advertised start times. And not knowing when games would start after delays was the biggest annoyance.

Lemanis was confident that the league would look into the scenario.

"It's the second time we have been affected by them on a Sunday, playing the second game," he said.

"Hopefully the League can do something to make a change moving forward.

"When you start talking about player welfare - every team has their warm-up routines and what they do to get ready.

"To have a delay of that magnitude was unfortunate and not good welfare.

"Also, you have all the fans in the building, 13501 who are on time, waiting to watch and you can feel the air go out of the building.

"I am sure the league will address that."