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Blitzin' 1: Chasing Bendigo gold

ADELAIDE has taken six of a possible seven championship points from its 97-87 NBL Blitz win over Melbourne United at Bendigo Stadium today, Adris DeLeon leading the way with a 17-point second half.

The quest for the Loggins-Bruton Cup got underway with Illawarra Hawks beating Brisbane Bullets 91-69 to also claim six of a possible seven points.

Wins are worth three points and each quarter won worth one.

The Hawks had Jordair Jett leading the way with 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting, dropping the first quarter 18-22, but winning the rest 30-18, 20-19 and 23-10.

Fears Illawarra would struggle from range were allayed somewhat by it nailing 11-of-19 from deep – 57 per cent.

Then in the first battle of past grand finallists, Corey Webster was back to his best with a game-high 24 points at 60 percent to lead New Zealand Breakers past Perth Wildcats 88-84.

Perth snared the first and third quarters 22-19 and 22-18 respectively but the Breakers won the second and fourth 22-14 and 29-26 to clinch the contest.

Adelaide and Melbourne shared one point apiece for deadlocked first (26-26) and second (24-24) quarters before the 36ers broke away with 23-15 and 24-22 third and fourth periods to claim six for the game.

Already earmarked by some to be a table tumbler in 2018-19, the 36ers continued with their favoured running game to finish with six players scoring in double digits.

Sydney Kings broke away from Cairns Taipans with a withering 11-0 run during the third quarter, turning a 46-46 deadlock into a 57-46 lead, threes by Brian Bowen (in transition) and Tom Wilson at the end of the shot-clock pivotal in the outburst.

The championship favourites took first place after Day One by winning all four quarters against the Taipans in a 75-60 success, Cairns imports DJ Newbill and Melo Trimble a combined 7-of-31 from the floor in a forgettable shooting evening.

Remarkably, the draw pits teams which have contested all bar two of the past nine grand finalists against each other.

Today Melbourne met Adelaide (2018 decider) and Perth fell to New Zealand (2012, 2013, 2016) and on Sunday in Ballarat, New Zealand will play Cairns (2011, 2015) and Adelaide will face Perth (2014).

The only grand final series since 2010 which did not get a Blitz revisit was Perth-Illawarra who met for the championship in 2010 and 2017.

DAY 1 – Bendigo Stadium
(Jett 17, Andersen, Coenraad 12; Andersen 6 rebs; Jackson, Jett 4 assts) d BRISBANE BULLETS 69 (Cadee 15, Bairstow 11, Holt 9; Harrison 9 rebs; Cadee 4 assts). Illawarra 6 points, Brisbane one.
NEW ZEALAND BREAKERS 88 (Webster 24, Wesley 16, Long 13, Richards 11, Ili 10; Long 14 rebs; 5 with 3 assts) d PERTH WILDCATS 84 (Wagstaff, Cotton 17, Kay 16, White 15, Vague 10; Kay 9 rebs; Norton 5 assts). New Zealand 5 points, Perth two.
ADELAIDE 36ERS 97 (DeLeon 17, Deng, Johnson 16, Moore, Wiley 12, Sobey 10; Wiley 15 rebs; Sobey 5 assts) d MELBOURNE UNITED 87 (Ware 16, Moller 15, Goulding 13, Kennedy 12; Kennedy, Smith-Milner 6 rebs; McCarron, Ware 3). Adelaide 6 points, Melbourne one.
SYDNEY KINGS 75 (Newley 15, Randle, Adnam 12; Bowen, Wear 8 rebs; Randle 5 assts) d CAIRNS TAIPANS 60 (Hall 20, Newbill 13, Trimble 10; Hall 9 rebs; Newbill 3 assts). Sydney 7 points, Cairns zero.

DAY TWO - Saturday

At Ballarat Minerdome.

Sep 20

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