The history of German basketball at the time depended on the thickness of a millimeter or Wade Baldwin’s fingertips.
By the time of Bayern’s victory on Thursday evening, no German team had reached the quarterfinals in the entire history of the Euroleague.
In the penultimate round of the Euroleague regular season, the Munich basketball players beat Žalgiris 71:70 and secured a ticket to the playoffs after reaching 20 victories.
The Kaunas club, which had lost its chances to get there before, was in the 11th place and was very close to victory.
When Bayern leader Wade Baldwin was preparing for the last attack after the exchange at the 70:69 lead of Žalgiris, he found himself no longer against Thomas Walkup, but against N. Hayes, an equally reliable Žalgiris defense specialist.
Already in the exchange, it was possible to see the foul of the veteran of the Munich team James Gist – the American, like a jumped wall, became an obstacle for Th.Walkup, who lost his balance on his feet.
“That barrier even made me more suspicious and turned out to be more noteworthy than the subsequent barrier,” said Kęstutis Pilipauskas, the head of the Lithuanian Basketball Referees Association, who once again reviewed the last seconds on Friday. – Moving barrier, Gistas ran on Walkup – it was an illegal contact. It was logical to attribute the offense to Gist.
Apparently, the referee followed the situation with the ball more, which is normal, and peripheral vision no longer saw the wrong barrier. However, this could have been noticed by his colleague.
However, the second unfavorable decision of the judges came to Žalgiris in the same second. “
When Th.Walkup fell, N.Hayes took his place, instinctively trying to take the ball from W.Baldwin 3 seconds left in the game and the ball flew to the edge.
The first decision of the referee in this situation – the ball touched the last one W. Waldwin.
The team from Žalgiris rose with joy, as they would only be able to maintain the lead in the last seconds, and the Bayern leader danced emotionally to protest, showing that the last touch of the ball was made by N. Hayes.
The referees decided to review the controversial moment in the video and did so several times while the basketball players awaited a decision after receiving their breath.
Not only did the moment seem very slippery to them.
15min Several top-level Lithuanian arbitrators interviewed said that the situation seemed unclear when turning the screen.
“It’s hard to say, at first it seemed to me that the ball had flown to the edge from Žalgiris, that N. Hayes had knocked out the ball,” K. Pilipauskas said. “From another angle, it turned out that the ball could touch Bayern’s finger.”
K. Pilipauskas and other arbitrators emphasized another important aspect, which is followed by judges.
“The initial decision was to give the ball to Žalgiris, and according to the rules, after reviewing the video, the referee can change the decision only if the initial decision is wrong.
The fact that after reviewing the video they changed the decision should have meant that they saw that W. Baldwin did not touch the ball last, K. Pilipauskas noted. – There must have been obvious proof that this Žalgiris touched the ball last.
If any doubts remained, the original solution would be left. If it has changed, the doubts have been allayed. “
Eriko Ovčarenko / 15min nootr./Kęstutis Pilipauskas
Could the judges in Munich have seen more than the spectators?
N.Hayeso’s attempt to intercept the ball seemed so unclear that one of the Lithuanian referees watching the match during the screen, not wanting to comment on the decision of his colleagues in Munich due to work ethic, admitted that he could not determine 100 percent from whom the ball came.
In this case, according to the minutes of the judges, it is as if the original decision should be left.
However, K. Pilipauskas believes that the judges in the German arena should have seen more than he or other spectators.
Judges working in top-level basketball matches have a certain advantage.
“Euroleague matches are filmed on eight cameras. Not all of them see the required episode, so the most comfortable images from several cameras are selected, although sometimes there are situations when they do not grab a good angle of visibility, – said one of the arbitrators. – The spectators had to see the same angles as the judges, the same attractive shots and angles.
However, the fact is that the image is more vivid in the arena of the monitor. There, the image is of better quality. ”
According to K. Pilipauskas, this could have determined the decision of the judges.
“They watched for a very long time because it was a matter of a millimeter. If they changed the decision, then they saw it, “said a specialist who had worked at the highest level competitions for many years.
Is conspiracy theory possible?
In the face of such sharp episodes, could other actions lead to a solution?
For example, basketball coach Mindaugas Brazys in the LRT show considered that perhaps the referees made the decision based on N.Hayes’ clearly predictable intentions to throw the ball.
One 15min The referees said that in difficult cases, the direction of the ball is also seen – in this case, he flew where he was beaten by Hayes.
On the other hand, K.Pillipauskas emphasized that interpretations cannot obscure the fact during the decisive moments of the match.
He reminded that in the middle of a match, when the referees cannot view such episodes, perhaps it could be judged by the logic of the direction of movement and the direction of the ball. However, in the last 2 minutes of the match, the indicator is one – whoever touched the ball last, since then he has ran to the edge.
Ilija Beloševičius, Saso Petekas and Carlos Cortes judged the match in Munich.
According to K. Pilipauskas, I. Beloševičius is the most experienced of them. Serb was the chief referee of the match, who convened a meeting, after which the original decision of the Spaniard C.Cortes was changed.
Would it be realistic to think of a conspiracy theory that the judges ’decision could have been influenced by the historic chance of a German club and at the same time the breakthrough of an economically very strong country in the Euroleague?
K. Pilipauskas shook his head. “Even if we let go of the idea that the victory of the Munich club was sought, then no one would wait for the last seconds, during which it is impossible to predict: will there be a fringe or not? – The former judge spoke. “I don’t want to believe that, but if there was a willingness to help a club from outside, I probably wouldn’t wait for the last seconds.”
In the last seconds, more important actions took place, which ultimately led to the historic victory of the German club.
In Bayern’s last attack, Joffrey Lavergne fouled Vladimir Lučič, who attacked from the sidelines.
When Bayern’s leader threw both penalties and re-weighed the score, Žalgiris still had two seconds to make the final attack after a minute’s break from Martin Schiller.
When the combination got stuck, J. Lavergne, who received the ball, tried to save the situation, but his attempt to attack from a long distance was blocked by V. Lučičius.