Basketball: Restraint to also apply to coach

By ANENDRA SINGH sports editor

Hawks v Waitakere

NBL, Napier

After last round's boilover in New Plymouth, Hawks coach Tab Baldwin says they need to address match officials with a little more decorum.

"No one can play a perfect game so we need to recognise the differences and fix them," Baldwin says after the Hawks' picked up technical fouls that saw Baldwin ejected from the court in their 101-86 loss to the Taranaki Mountain Airs last Saturday.

Taking exception to a technical foul call on captain Paora Winitana, Baldwin vented his spleen but the referees had the final say as Winitana and imports Brian Greene and Darko Cohadarevic found themselves on the bench after racking up five violations each at crucial stages of the game.

"When we approach referees, we need to control ourselves and be more intelligent, that's not just the players but including myself as coach," he says, after point guard Aidan Daly sat on four fouls.

Sideline etiquette, he attests, is imperative for success as the Hawks go into tonight's game against newcomers Waitakere Rangers in Napier in the fifth round of the Bartercard National Basketball League 3-1 down.

"There will be moments coming up if we disagree with them or have conflicts. Refs don't get everything right - good calls or bad ones they won't be changing what they've called."

Hawks shouldn't let their emotions on such contentious moments cloud their judgment because there was nothing to be gained. "Those who have experience in that need to help our young and new players, including the imports," he says after Greene and Cohadarevic found themselves in foul trouble in their defeat to the Otago Nuggets in Napier, too.

"I want us to start thinking about what's right and then rise above them for performances."

While there's no suggestions of home advantage against Taranaki in the last round because none of the three officials is from the region, Mountain Airs coach David Bublitz had alluded to the NBL sending new rules pre-season pertaining to the manner in which players and coaches should engage with officials this season.

Just as he accepts his limitations, Bay referee Apai Apai had said in 2009 basketballers become better players when they learned to adopt a mentality of "moving on" once a decision was made on court.

However, Apai felt NBL referees still hadn't established an acceptable level of rapport with coaches in answering their calls of frustration often misinterpreted as courtside ranting and raving. "The more questions coaches ask, the more solid the bridge becomes between us and them."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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