Controversy in Chinese university basketball game raises questions over rules
A controversial moment in Saturday's Chinese university basketball game between Peking University and China University of Mining and Technology has caused a stir on China's Internet, with many people questioning the competition's rules.
In Saturday's second leg of the Chinese University Basketball Association (CUBA) quarterfinals, Peking University earned free throws with the scores tied at 77-77 with 18.3 seconds remaining.
However, rather than attempting to convert a pair of foul shots to go ahead, the Peking University player wasted both of them to force overtime, with the first throw called off due to a violation and the second missing wide of the mark.
Peking University regrouped in overtime, winning the match 99-89, and despite sharing the spoils in the two-leg series, advanced to the final four due to a higher aggregate score over the two games.
The league's rules played a big part in this surprising move. As stipulated, when the two contending sides each win a game in the quarterfinals, the one with a higher total score will reach the final four. When the two sides win one game each and have the same total score, they will continue to compete through overtime to decide the winner.
The rules led to the Peking University players' unusual tactics late in the game. Losing the first leg 83-78, they were clearly aware that they could not overcome a five-point gap with less than 20 seconds remaining, and turned to overtime to complete their comeback.
The CUBA league organizers later explained that according to the regulations of the 23rd CUBA league, it was not possible for the game to end in a tie.
"With the score tied at 77-77 after regulation time in second leg of the quarterfinals between Peking University and China University of Mining and Technology, they were required to play overtime to decide the winner of this match. After that, the side with a higher total score over the two matches will advance," said the league's official social media account.
"The winner of every game has to be decided, and both sides have been informed of the rules at a preceding meeting," it added.
But many netizens voiced their disagreement on the social media.
"It clearly exposes the unreasonable nature of the competition format and rules, as it forces players to miss shots even though they can make them, and attempt to lose games even though it can be a draw," a netizen named 'sunshine, rainbow and popla' wrote.
Another group of netizens questioned whether such a move went against the spirit of the game.
"It's so funny. When you go all out, you may find it better to lose a game by several points rather than getting a draw," a Sina Weibo user named 'Sloww' wrote.