ADELAIDE will accept the “early plea” option the NBL suddenly has adopted so the 36ers can have Terrance Ferguson’s two-match ban reduced to one.
The “early plea” has never before been invoked in the NBL, brought in ahead of the 2015-16 season, the league clearly now taking its cues from the AFL Tribunal.
Ferguson on Monday was found guilty of striking Cairns’ Mark Worthington 1:38 from the end of the first quarter of Friday’s match on Brett Maher Court after the pair jostled on a Jerome Randle free throw.
The decision to suspend him for two games was made by the NBL’s “game review panel” which comprises its Technical Officiating and Game Day Operations Manager Sean Gottliebsen,
Operations Manager Guy Neville, Chief Operating Officer Andy Crook and an independent member Graeme Allen, a former Basketball Australia executive.
They concluded Ferguson struck Worthington and it was intentional, with medium impact and high contact, resulting in a two-match ban.
Neither Ferguson nor Worthington were consulted by the game review panel for evidence, the determination made solely off video vision of the incident.
“It’s unfortunate that this has happened,” 36ers coach Joey Wright said.
“We will accept the early plea.”
That means Ferguson only will miss Saturday’s game against New Zealand in Auckland, along with injured Adelaide captain Mitch Creek.
“We’ll take Sam Johns and Nelson Larkins in their place,” Wright said.
Melbourne United forward Tai Wesley was charged with “unreasonable contact with the face” for a similar action in Sunday’s loss to Perth Wildcats when he struck Jameel McKay.
The Wildcats’ import centre chipped a tooth in the fourth quarter incident, the game review panel determining it was “careless” and with “medium impact”.
Wesley was given a one match suspension but took the early plea option, having it reduced to a $500 fine.
Melbourne travels to face Cairns tomorrow for the Taipans’ first home game of this season.
Adelaide initially considered appealing the two-match ban on Ferguson but decided discretion was the better part of valour.
Last season Townsville import Brian Conklin escaped suspension when he broke the jaw of Perth captain Damian Martin, then received a one-match ban after hitting Creek with an elbow to the face in Adelaide.
Luckless Martin received a knock to the head in the third quarter against United on Sunday, X-rays revealing a fracture to the left side of his jaw.
The Wildcats skipper had a plate surgically inserted last night and is expected to miss two weeks.
Former Sydney Kings NBA import Josh Childress was fined $7500 and given a one-game suspension for his forearm on Wildcats forward Jesse Wagstaff during the 2014-15 season.
Originally published asSixers take early plea to reduce Ferguson ban