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Coronavirus: Wildcats crowned NBL champions after Grand Final series cut short

  • The Perth Wildcats were handed a record 10th NBL title after the coronavirus impacted the Grand Final.
Omnisport
NEWS
News
Modified 19 Mar 2020, 10:34 IST
PerthWildcats - Cropped
Perth Wildcats celebrate

The Perth Wildcats were crowned NBL champions after their Grand Final series against the Sydney Kings was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic.

With the Wildcats leading the series 2-1, the Kings indicated they did not wish to proceed with the scheduled final two games of the Grand Final.

The NBL decided on Thursday to award Perth a record 10th title and name Bryce Cotton the Larry Sengstock Medallist as Grand Final MVP.

"We have taken extensive advice on this matter from the NBL board of directors, members of our advisory board, FIBA and our external legal advisers K&L Gates and I thank all of them for the benefit of their insight and perspective," NBL commissioner Jeremy Loeliger said.

"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.

"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 of the NBL operations manual.

"Consequently, the champions of the Hungry Jack's 2019/20 NBL season are the Perth Wildcats.

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"We can now also announce the winner of the Larry Sengstock Medal for our Grand Final MVP which is determined in accordance with the votes of our expert judging panel based on their votes for games one to three of the finals series.

"The Larry Sengstock Medal for the Grand Final MVP is awarded to Bryce Cotton. I'd like to offer my congratulations to both our champions, the Perth Wildcats, and our runners-up the Sydney Kings and our Finals MVP Bryce Cotton."

Kings star Andrew Bogut, an NBA champion with the Golden State Warriors in 2015, hit out at the NBL.

"In wrapping up the season, a quick note to say I could not be any prouder of the Sydney Kings and our playing group," he wrote on Twitter.

"After almost three hours of back and forth [and plenty of tears] we came to what ultimately was the hardest decision any athlete or team could make.

"I want to go on record to say I am beyond embarrassed and disappointed in regards to how this was handled by our league from the week leading up to the Grand Final series. More to come at a later date re: that.

"This has nothing to do with the result announced today and I wish to congratulate the Perth Wildcats on being crowned champions."

Published 19 Mar 2020, 10:34 IST
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