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Conger stronger as Sixers prevail

ADELAIDE 36ers have set up a monumental showdown tomorrow with long-time arch rival Brisbane after plucking the Hawks 102-96 last night in Wollongong.

Back in his former digs, Demitrius Conger found his game, with 19 points on 7-of-8 shooting, plus six rebounds, five assists and four steals.

And Adelaide's backcourt pairing of Nathan Sobey and Ramone Moore came up trumps in Brendan Teys' 200th NBL game, with 23 points and six assists, 22 points and seven assists respectively.

Illawarra started strongly with Brian Conklin (22 points, five rebounds, a block) causing keyway havoc and Todd Blanchfield (19 points, five assists) firing early.

Both sides were shooting in the mid-60s percent throughout the first half, the Hawks bolting to a 32-22 lead at the first break, without the 36ers playing badly.

Adelaide had captain Daniel Johnson engaged and Jacob Wiley throwing down a pair of vicious dunks as it pulled the deficit back to two by halftime.

AJ Ogilvy had some strong moments offensively against Majok Deng and the Hawks still appeared to have some momentum.

They still led by six into the final term before Sobey and Moore cut loose to devastating effect.

Two big threes from Harry Froling also were significant in a 30-18 final period.

"I think definitely down the stretch, we controlled the tempo," Sixers coach Joey Wright said.

"Big threes, but not just that (Wright said of Froling's shots). I thought his defence in the middle of our zone and just one-on-one was really good, and also his rebounding."

The win took the 36ers' win-loss record back to 10-9, displacing Brisbane from the top four.

The Bullets also have a 10-9 win-loss record, turning tomorrow's match into a critical fixture in terms of playoff placement.

The Brisbane-Adelaide rivalry started in 1985 when the Bullets beat Adelaide for the championship, a situation reversed a year later.

It has waned over the years but will be pertinent again tomorrow as former Adelaide captain Adam Gibson leads the newly retooled Bullets into town.

Brisbane twice beat the Sixers in one round, the second win coming on a match-winning Cam Gliddon 3-pointer.

Adelaide then beat the Bullets in Brisbane, but that was before the club added third import AJ Davis, son of NBA and Indiana Pacers star Antonio Davis.

ADELAIDE 36ERS 102 (Sobey 23, Moore 22, Conger 19, Johnson 15; Conger 6 rebs; Moore 7 assts) d ILLAWARRA HAWKS 96 (Conklin 22, Blanchfield 19, Coenraad 12, Ogilvy 10; Ogilvy 6 rebs; Blanchfield, Jackson 5 assts) at WIN Entertainment Centre.

Jan 11

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