Fan invasion mars basketball final

An on-court altercation erupted into a court invasion by fans as tempers frayed at a National Basketball League (NBL) match on Wednesday night.

The incident happened during the first leg of the NBL final between local clubs Adroit Sports Association and Eng Tat Hornets, held at the Singapore Basketball Centre in Aljunied.

It was triggered by a scuffle between Eng Tat guard Chin Rong Lie and Adroit forward Poh Wei Hao in the third quarter.

The duo jostled for a rebound and started shoving each other.

They were separated by team-mates but Chin broke free and threw a punch at Poh, who ducked.

Shortly after, a fan wearing an Eng Tat T-shirt ran on court to push Poh.

More fans joined in and officials from Eng Tat had to restrain their enraged supporters as Adroit players retreated.

There was more shoving and shouting as rival fans hurled abuse and challenged players to "meet outside".

Videos of the incident have been uploaded on social media.

Both Chin and Poh were ejected from the game, which eventually finished 68-57 to Adroit.

The Basketball Association of Singapore said the video will be reviewed and will comment on the incident after its investigations.

Adroit team manager Chan Sian Gay, 38, said: "Actually, this has happened before in the basketball scene but it was never that bad. What I don't understand is why there are no security personnel to help deal with hooliganism among the fans.

"I don't mind if it means higher registration fees because that will definitely help the situation.

"But perhaps it should come from funding by BAS or (local sports governing body) Sport Singapore because this comes under player safety."

National coach Neo Beng Siang, who used to coach Eng Tat, was in the stands when the incident happened.

Declining to point fingers, he said: "Player safety is a must. Even in football, with so many security personnel, some fans still can run on the field.

"Hopefully, the BAS can do something about it.

"The referee can handle the players on the court but when fans come in, nobody can stop.

"Who dares to go in?"

This is not the first time such an incident has taken place.

Last year, ex-BAS vice-president Pang Chin Keong allegedly punched then BAS technical director Greg Gurr.

A police report was made but both parties resolved the issue in private.

The second leg of the final takes place on Sunday at the same venue.

This article was first published on Nov 14, 2014.
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