Kings guard slams officials in Twitter tirade
A CONTROVERSIAL foul call has helped the New Zealand Breakers put a serious dent in the Sydney Kings' season with a thrilling 99-95 win on Thursday night.
Andrew Gaze's men led for the majority of the match, before a contentious foul late in the third quarter changed the momentum.
Veteran swingman Brad Newley was charged with a foul on Breakers guard Kirk Penney despite the New Zealand veteran clearly dropping his shoulder.
Penney was awarded three free-throws as he was attempting a shot from beyond the arc, while Newley was warned for a flop.
This allowed the Breakers to go into the final quarter with a two point lead after trailing by one.
Despite the setback, Sydney surged back in the fourth to ensure a grandstand finish.
The Kings got within one point in the closing seconds, before the Breakers got a stop to claim victory.
The Newley flop and foul call prompted Sydney guard Jerome Randle to launch a scathing post-game tirade at the match officials on twitter.
"What's the point of playing hard, what is the damn point - frustrating.
"Working hard all week and calls not consistent. What's flopping?," Randle fired.
"Refs shouldn't determine wins and losses, period."
When asked about Randle's rant, which is likely to come under scrutiny by the NBL, coach Gaze stressed the importance of his players showing class in defeat.
Pushed further on the Newley/Penney incident, he said: "I think they made an unfortunate mistake on that call.
"I can see that it is tough sometimes and it's hard if a guy flops or not, but I'd like to think the referees would know the character of the guys and know that Brad Newley isn't a flopper.
"I don't know if he has ever flopped. He should flop more.
"I haven't seen it (on video), but I'm literally a metre away and to me it was absolutely perfect defence and he should have got the reward.
"Having said that, we are in a situation where the fickle hand of fate works in mysterious ways and we are not getting the benefit of the doubt very often.
"Through the balance of things I don't think we get our fair share. You've got to earn it and they (New Zealand) earnt that win - they shot the ball incredibly well."
Kings guard Jason Cadee also expressed his frustration about the Newley foul and flop, while he admitted the players are often confused by calls from the NBL officials.
"I just think the thing with the refs is sometimes we don't understand," Cadee said.
"This week is different to last week and it's frustrating for us because we don't understand some calls.
"In regards to the flop - I don't think there is an understanding of what a flop is.
"If you haven't played the game - how do you know what a flop is?.
"It is frustrating, but it's not the reason we lost."
As Cadee rightly pointed out, Sydney's loss was due to their inability to contain the Breakers down the stretch.
Former NBA big man Jeremy Tyler top scored for Sydney with 23 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks.
Randle continued his impressive form with 20 points, while Newley dropped 15 points and made six rebounds.
Cadee finished with 11 points, while Todd Blanchfield added eight points and four rebounds.
In the end, though, it was the Breakers who claimed victory on the back of explosive guard Edgar Sosa - who finished with 21 points.
Captain Mika Vukona also showed his class with 10 points and six rebounds.
The Kings will look to rebound when they take on the Bullets in Brisbane on Saturday night.