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Face of 36ers to change

IT'S party time for Melbourne - and rightly so - but after two years of retaining its Australian content, Adelaide 36ers are set to look a little different in 2018-19.

The NBL runners-up stayed courtside yesterday at Hisense Arena as United celebrated its victory in what was an epic five-game championship series but reduced to maybe the second-best of such grand final clashes, given Melbourne's ultimately comfortable 100-82 Game 5 win.

(That still leaves the 2004 NBL championship series won by Sydney Kings over West Sydney Razorbacks 3-2 as arguably the greatest of the five-game grand finals.)

But while United parties like its 1999 - ironically a year the 36ers won the title - the words of Adelaide captain Brendan Teys continue to ring around his teammates.

"Make sure you remember the pain cause hopefully we can get back here and go one more next year," he told his teammates.

But Teys, like the 36ers' grand final star Daniel Johnson and super-sub and 2017 NBL Rookie of the Year, Anthony Drmic, all are out of contract.

Similarly, all three imports - Josh Childress, Ramone Moore (below) and Shannon Shorter - are free agents.

All three are keen to return.

The form of Mitch Creek, who won the club's MVP award and also the fan choice league MVP honour, also makes him a viable target to continue playing at the next level in 2018-19.

Creek, who led Australia's Gold Medal-winning performance last year at the FIBA Asia Cup, already has been forced to withdraw from the Boomers team for the Commonwealth Games due to an international contract he takes up this week.

Matt Hodgson (impending knee injury) soon may follow suit.

Teys, who loves the club and Adelaide, is keen to stay put.

The 36ers retained Teys, Creek, Johnson, Nathan Sobey, Hodgson, Drmic, Majok Deng and Adam Doyle from the team which last year was beaten in the semi finals by Illawarra Hawks.

Imports Jerome Randle, Terrance Ferguson and Eric Jacobsen were casualties of that campaign.

Randle has been retained by the Sydney Kings.

FUTURE IS CALLING: The future is knocking at Mitch Creek's door. All pics ALLSTAR PHOTOS

Apr 1

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