Chase Buford Press Conference Video Refereeing Reaction Sydney Kings vs New Zealand Breakers

Frustrated Sydney coach Chase Buford went after the referee of the Kings’ big final loss in Game 4 to New Zealand before storming out of his post-game press conference.

The Kings were held to their all-time low in a league game and missed a golden opportunity to seal back-to-back titles with an 80-70 loss in front of a crowd of 9,742 at Spark Arena – a record in New Zealand.

The Breakers made it known after the third game that they lost the foul count and had shot fewer free throws than their opponent in each of their previous six playoff contests.

Buford believes that affected Sunday’s whistle – the Breakers won the foul count 20-17 and shot 26 free throws on the Kings’ 14.

“They were allowed to get away with things that they weren’t allowed to do in the first few games,” a seething Buford said after the game.

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Chase Buford lost his post-game cool because of the number of fouls early in the second half. Image: Getty Images
Chase Buford lost his post-game cool because of the number of fouls early in the second half. Image: Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

“There was no freedom of movement. Once in the second half it was 11:2, the foul count.

“We played five against eight out there. It was clear.”

Buford said he spoke to his players about the attention to the foul discrepancy.

“We knew we were going to be hosed down and we just said, ‘We’ve got to weather the storm and stick together’ and I think we did great to be fair… It was a big storm in the second half.” , he said.

Under the pressure of the physicality of the competition, Buford stood up and said, “I’m fine,” interrupting his press conference.

The Kings host the Breakers in game five Wednesday night, with the victor being crowned the NBL23 champion.


The Dr John Raschke Trophy stood in the center of the pitch as New Zealand warmed up before the game, a tangible reminder of the enormity of the effort.

Faced with the prospect of the Kings capturing the NBL championship in their home field, the Breakers rode against the record-breaking crowd to force a crucial game five.

Even league owner Larry Kestelman barracked for the Breakers as he watched the “war” unfold.

The revived Will McDowell-White was the orchestrator and spotted game one form with another near-clean performance of 19 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists complemented by a 23-point blast from former NBA man Jarrell Brantley, who found his feet in the series for the first time.

Derrick Walton Jr. was brilliant with 18 points but couldn’t get the Kings over the line. Image: Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images


In a contest that momentarily looked like it could go like Game Three, the Breakers crushed the Kings in the first half and held Sydney to just 27 points before another surrender in the third quarter plagued their streak.

The Kings had won the third quarter by 5, 12, and 12 in every game, and again they found another gear in a dominant 25-15 period that cut a 12-point deficit to just two at the final break.

Derrick Walton Jr was brilliant with 18 points and kept the Kings at bay while Angus Glover continued a nice streak with 12 – all from deep.

Both teams had players who wanted to be heroes in the last game. A resurgent Will McDowell-White buried a pair of threes for the Breakers and then the great Jordy Hunter, one of the joys of the series, had a one-man run sixes for the Kings.

But sixth man of the year Barry Brown Jr. refused to lose, holding a three, throwing a massive fast-break dunk when gun defender Justin Simon tried to chase him, then sinking a ridiculous Rainbow Trey that one reestablished a double-digit lead and blew up the Spark Arena roof.

It was the dose the Breakers needed to stretch the Kings, Brantley delivering the knockout punch with a minute left.


In the second quarter, Pardon rumbled against Cooks, who was heavily strapped to his right knee, and when the league MVP fell to the ground, he grabbed the New Zealander’s shirt and arm to break his fall. It was ruled an unsportsmanlike foul on review and Cooks was later pinned with three fouls in the first half.

The NBA-tied gun showed glimpses of his wild talent, but it wasn’t his night.

The fight was real for the Kings – even Buford caught a pass from Derrick Walton Jr.


Simon changed the game for Sydney in game two with six steals. This time it was Breakers legend Tom Abercrombie who turned ravager on the defensive end. The 35-year-old swiping and equal last record six steals that ensured his shot at a fifth NBL title stayed alive. If he were considering retiring at the end of the season, many would urge him to reconsider. Chase Buford Press Conference Video Refereeing Reaction Sydney Kings vs New Zealand Breakers

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