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Nuggets' Webster suspended one game

Otago Nuggets guard Tai Webster has been suspended one game for his on-court actions against the Wellington Saints.

Webster appeared to strike Saints import Lat Mayen in the head during an altercation during their Round 3 National Basketball League (NBL) game at Dunedin's Edgar Centre on Saturday.

The former Tall Blacks and NZ Breakers guard took the early plea and will serve his suspension on Thursday when the Nuggets face the Franklin Bulls in a top-of-the-table clash at 'The Stockyard' in Pukehohe. 

Webster was involved in an incident with Mayen with 8:30 minutes remaining in the first quarter.

The 28-year-old put his shoulder forcefully into Mayen's chest while chasing Izayah Le'afa around a screen, the pair appeared to exchange words before Webster lashed out, making contact with Mayen's head with his forearm.

The incident was referred by the referee manager, and it was determined by the Leagues Game Review Commissioner that his action was a classifiable offence as outlined in the tribunal policy.

Tai Webster Otago Nuggets NBL basketball
Tai Webster will miss the Otago Nuggets' game against the Franklin Bulls. PHOTO: NBL

“While each case will be treated on its own merits, as a League, we are looking to ensure the safety of players and a key part of that will be dealing with foul or rough play resulting in contact with the head," said NBL game review commissioner Keith Binnie.

"This was a key focus for the League when adapting some of the new penalty guidelines in the tribunal policy ahead of the 2024 season.

"Players need to be aware of these guidelines and understand that making intentional, careless or reckless contact with another player’s head, or undertaking an act that has a significant risk of head injury, will be looked at closely and the penalty regime has been increased, as it has in many other sports for foul play resulting in contact with the head.”

In two games this season, Webster has averaged 16.5 points, six rebounds and four assists for the 3-0 Nuggets.


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