While BallinEurope has been focused-to-obsession on the Euroleague and NBA playoffs, basketball marches on all over the world. BiE buddy Adi Micinic of Romania-based Total Baschet, for example, recently told us of a bit of a controversy in the season-ending tournament in his country. Warning: Those intolerant of refereeing errors should not read further. First off, a clip produced by DigiSport…

Romanian basketball is in the international news these days after a controversial whistle by international referee Marius Ciulin during overtime in Game 2 of the semifinal playoff series between CSM Oradea and CSU Ploiesti.

Oradea, playing in front of its home crowd, was leading 88-82 with two minutes remaining in the game: This was the moment the match was influenced by the decision of Ciulin. His whistle was heard approximately two minutes before the end of overtime, indicating a decision on a situation it was impossible for him to see because he was in a blind spot:

Romanian ref blows call

In the same picture you can see another referee – Fabiana Martinescu, who called the 2012 Euroleague Women final in Istanbul – taking no action, because she can see the entire scene with absolutely nothing to whistle.

By comparison, check out this similar intervention by Dimitris Diamantidis which does not get called.

After this decision, Ciulin went on to sanction the home team with a technical foul assessed to the bench, even though this sort of reaction can be seen from any bench when basketball is played with the game on the line. What’s more ridiculous in Ciulin’s decision is that absolutely nobody from Oradea was talking to him or to any other referee. By the way, you can see an Oradea player near Ciulin studiously avoiding any kind of dialogue. Also you can see he was far away of the home team’s bench, while Martinescu is nearby but has absolutely no reaction.

One more thing about Oradea’s bench: Since the arrival of head coach Cristian Achim in November 2009, the team *has never been assessed* technical foul to the bench.

Ploiesti, Romanian champion in eight of the past nine seasons, scored three points from the four free throws given, came back into the game and won by a final score of 91-90.

Game 1, played in Oradea the day previous, ended with the home’s team victory by a score of 80-60. Ploiesti again won decisively in game three of the best-of-five semifinal series. Game four will be played today.

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