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ABC Wrap: Illawarra win an omen?

ILLAWARRA Hawks co-captain Rhys Martin is reading it as a sign.

The last time the Hawks won a preseason title in 2009, they went on to contest the NBL Grand Final.

Last night, as they saw off defending Loggins-Bruton Cup holder Melbourne 94-86, their success was no less pleasurable. 

They looked the goods, for sure. And while everyone is happy to be slightly dismissive - the Australian Basketball Challenge IS a preseason tournament, after all - don't think both Illawarra and United weren't going for it big-time at Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Despite the jarring jolt of the matches involving China's two CBA entrants, the venue and the tournament were well run and, just for the information of Bullets' fans, there is far more to come with the scoreboard too.

Speaking of which, Sydney's scoreboard at its new home venue of Qudos Bank Arena - Edwin Flack Avenue & Olympic Blvd, Sydney Olympic Park - will take some topping.

The incredible new octagonal-shaped scoreboard will be the largest indoor scoreboard in the southern hemisphere, each panel 40 square metres!

STILL strongly believe the relentless loud music playing throughout every game is an insult to the players and the product.

It effectively says that without some raucious musical accompaniment, the product itself cannot sustain fan interest. And that, frankly, is insulting.

Anyone who thinks the NBL's 2016-17 teams will need enhancement via a contrived two-plus hours of ear-blasting BS, was probably too distracted by the noise to notice the spectacular action on the hardwood.

SOME of the dunks in the ABC Slam Dunk Championship were high quality. But the organisation of it - how many dunk attempts, fan confusion - was a shemmozzle.

NOT so the 3-Point ShootOut, which was well done and well fought out. (It just didn't need the MC commentating throughout, beyond just telling us the "balls down" count.)

THE games between our NBL teams were ultra-competitive and the depth of talent this year is off the charts. Buy a season-ticket. Better yet, buy two.

APART from at least one major clanger pretty much in most of the matches, the officiating generally was not as far behind the players' preparation as it routinely has been at past Blitz/K-Mart Classics etc. (Maybe the refs just didn't want to have to stand and listen to a review from Refs Boss Scott Butler, He of the Loud Attire.)

THE biggest beneficiary of NBA scouts keeping tabs on 36ers tyro Terrance Ferguson is likely to be Mitch Creek. He had a wonderful ABC and still is very much young enough to start thinking of pastures beyond our shores. 

IF you aren't following @NBAussie Films on Twitter, Youtube or Facebook, you are missing out on some amazing high-calibre professional highlights, most recently today of the ABC. Last week the NBAussie Films' productions of promo vids for returning Euro stars Brad Newley and David Andersen were gold and something the NBL should have been seizing on, retweeting and promoting. Why not embrace a pro doing the work for them?

SAID it yesterday but it bears repeating. If you can still get the $34 betting line on Cairns for the NBL championship, it would well be worth the tipple. Gamble responsibly though! (And celebrate in moderation...)



Yesterday's answer to: "Who was the inaugural winner of the Ray Borner Medal?"

(With 12,892 bonus points if you could name the year.)

The answer was: c) Jacob Holmes

The year was 2004.

Yes, there were tournament MVP awards given prior to that, but 2004 was the year the Ray Borner Medal was inaugurated.

Sep 27

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