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ABC Day 2: No, now there's even more

OK, forget that "six NBA scouts" attending the Australian Basketball Challenge on Day 1. Come today's Day 2 and they had multiplied!

Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls, Sacramento Kings, Philadelphia 76ers, Denver Nuggets, Houston Rockets and Phoenix Suns all have reps at the ABC. Word is there are two others somewhere in the stands at Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

And word is, they're impressed.

The new record for an NBL-sanctioned preseason tournament win leapt from the 44 Brisbane created last night to 48 today when Illawarra's Hawks plucked Zhejiang Golden Bulls 123-75.

The surprise in that was the fact the Golden Bulls threatened to gore the Hawks' hopes with a competitive first half that left them just 48-55 in arrears.

A 33-14 Illawarra third quarter put paid to this as a contest though.

The winning margin record lasted an entire game before Melbourne United flogged Zhejiang Golden Bulls by 71 points. Yes, 71. 



SCOTT Butler's hiring as NBL Referees Manager was contingent on him adopting Craig Sager's wardrobe. 

ERIC Jacobsen (36ers import) and Torrey Craig (Bullets import) both will play no further part in the tournament, recovering from concussions.

{Jacobsen was hurt playing Perth last week, a head injury aggravated at practice this week, while Craig went to hospital after suffering a hit in last night's match.}                                                                                                                                        CRAIG Sager has this suit ready for Scott Butler

NO matter how many times Andrej Lemanis yelled out "How Long" in Brisbane's opening night win over Zhejiang, none of the CBA players answered to that name.

REFEREE Tim Boswell is out injured, rolling his ankle late in last night's game, stumbling over one of the dangerously highly-painted court lines at BCEC.

THAT Cairns forward Mark Worthington had ankle surgery two weeks ago.

WHEN the first two shots in the Cairns-Adelaide match are 3-point bricks from Alex Loughton and Daniel Johnson respectively, maybe they should get inside. (They did both go 1-of-3 from range, eventually).

CRAIG Sager also is offering up these options for Scott Butler's consideration

MEANWHILE... it's always a comfort to see Matt Andronicus have his annual preseason run.

CAM Gliddon didn't take long to find his range, 5-of-9 threes in a 27-point haul which included some very sweet drives to the hoop too, and seven assists for good measure.

THE NBL is considering going to four referees so one can just stand alongside Aaron Fearne to discuss every call with him.

FOUR turnovers by the 36ers in 77 seconds to start the third quarter is a recipe for a decisive 10-0 opposition run.

TIM Mills got it horribly wrong when he penalised Nathan Sobey with a flopping technical when it was clearly a blocking foul and nothing more. Sobey copped a second tech for a verbal 30 seconds later, neither of which would have happened if Tiny Tim had tiptoed through the tulips a little more accurately first time around.

MITCH Creek's 22 points on 9-of-10 shooting, five boards and three assists was a mature captain's game for the 36ers.

OSCAR Forman's 16 points for Illawarra, on 6-of-9 shooting, included 4-of-5 threes in 15 minutes of action. That's value for time played.

MARVELLOUS Harris may be shorter than advertised but his advance publicity hasn't nearly done him justice. He'll be another fun player to watch this season.

ILLAWARRA's demolition of Zhejiang, followed by United's destruction of Tianjin spoke to the vast difference in athleticism and fundamental skills between the NBL and CBA. Whisper is getting louder next year's ABC will be seeking a couple of European competitoors. Now you're talking. 

GREAT to see basketball breaking down cultural barriers with United's Cedric Jackson and Tianjin Ronggang's Trey Kelly seizing the chance for a mid-court chat. They were speaking American.

TODD Blanchfield (25 points, 7-of-9 threes in 18 minutes) was back to his efficient best and so was Majok Majok with 13 points, 12 boards in 15:29 for United.

DAVID Andersen (below) will be the "difference maker" in the 2016-17 NBL season.  He had 18 points (7-of-10), six rebounds, five assists in 17:15 today and is a bona fide returning champion. 

DID no-one at Brisbane or Sydney get the memo about one of them wearing their light strip?

REUBEN Te Rangi expects to be back from an injury to ankle ligaments in well under the 6-8 weeks medicos have pencilled in, the new Bullets' swingman targeting four.

LOUDEST roar of the night was one of approval for Daniel Kickert's corner 3-pointer for Brisbane off a Shaun Bruce dish to close the first quarter against Sydney, the Kings' bulge reduced to 21-29.

SORRY, make that Anthony Petrie's corner three to close the second quarter pushing Brisbane 47-45 ahead.

NO, it's settled. It was Jermaine Beal's freakish triple to beat the shot-clock in the third.

THE Bullets-Kings evolved into easily the standout match of the tournament when Brisbane pulled off a 21-5 run to get back to 31-32 by early in the second. Then it was Game On!

GREAT to see Jermaine Beal and Kevin Lisch going toe-to-toe again and the all-Gold Coast Blazers, Adam Gibson and Anthony Petrie, harassing Jason Cadee.

DANIEL Kickert's putback of his own miss gave Brisbane, at 81-74 with 1:20 to play, its biggest lead. Nicely timed.



Rachel Weisz, Rachel Coxon and Rachel Ward. OK. Maybe only one of them.

Jeff Van Groningen.

Statman, Wortho, Bevo, Cookie, all in a (front) row.

Ken Cole.

Nigel Purchase (looking more like Phil Lynch every day).



Team  W-L  Pts

Brisbane 2-0  11.0

Sydney 1-1  8.5

Perth 1-0  7.0

Illawarra 1-0  7.0

Melbourne 1-0  7-0

Cairns 1-0  5.0

Adelaide 0-1  2.0

Zhejiang 0-2 1.0

New Zealand 0-1 0.5

Tianjin Ronggang 0-2  0.0



Cairns Taipans 93 (Gliddon 27, Edwin 15, Ngwu 14; McCarron 10 rebs; Loughton, Gliddon 7 assts) d Adelaide 36ers 83 (Creek 22, Randle, Johnson 15; Johnson 8 rebs; Randle 4 assts). Cairns 5 pts, Adelaide 2.

Illawarra Hawks?123 (Harris 22, Clarke 19, Forman 16, Ogilvy 15, Kay 11; Ogilvy 8 rebs; Norton, Coenraad 4 assts) d Zhejiang Golden Bulls (Warren 28, Zhang 14; Lai Hun 9 rebs; Warren 4 assts). Illawarra 7 pts, Zhejiang 0.

Melbourne United 133 (Blanchfield 25, Wesley 24, Andersen 18, Williams 15, Golulding 14, Majok 13; Majok 15 rebs; 3 with 5 assts) d Tianjin Golden Lions 62 (Kelly 25; Kelly 5 rebs; Kelly 6 assts). Melbourne 7 pts, Tianjin 0.

Brisbane Bullets 83 (Jervis 18, Petrie 14, Beal, Kickert 12; Jervis 10 rebs; Gibson 5 assts) d Sydney Kings 79 (Whittington 17, Newley, Cadee 16, Lisch 12; Newley 8 rebs; Lisch 5 assts). Brisbane 5 pts, Sydney 2 pts.


Tomorrow's Games

Session 4

11:00am - 1:00pm Game 8, New Zealand v Cairns

1:30pm - 3:30pm Game 9, Illawarra v Perth

Session 5

5:00pm - 7:00pm Game 10, Tianjin v Zhejiang CB

7:00pm Dunk Contest and 3-Point Shootout

8:00pm - 10:00pm Game 11, Adelaide v Melbourne


Session 6

10:30am - 12:30pm Game 12, Perth v Sydney

1:00pm - 3:00pm Game 13, Adelaide v New Zealand

Session 7

5:00pm - 7:00pm Game 14, Brisbane v Cairns

7:30pm - 9:30pm Game 15, Illawarra v Melbourne

9:30pm Presentation of Loggins-Bruton Cup, Ray Borner Medal

Sep 24

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