Basketball On The Internet.

Sponsored by:

AllStar Photos

Specialising in Action, Team and Portrait Photography.


Advertising opportunities available.
Please contact me.

Melbourne meltdown gifts Kings

SYDNEY tonight kept its eyes on the prize while Melbourne squandered a 78-62 last quarter lead to fumble away Game 1 of their NBL semi final series, the Kings storming home 86-80.

A match of completely contrasting style to Perth-Cairns' spectacular opener in their best-of-three semi, it was no less compelling as 13,103 fans at Qudos Bank Arena roared their team to the unlikeliest of victories.

The Kings' 26-11 final quarter avalanche which buried United and may have done them irreparable psychological damage, saw them turn back that 16-point mid-quarter deficit, matching the biggest comeback-to-win of the 2019-20 season.

It was a breath-taking 24-2 run to the siren by Sydney after Melbourne had dominated proceedings to pull 78-62 clear.

United coach Dean Vickerman had pulled some great strategies and even adjusted on the fly when his superstar shooter Chris Goulding collected two of the softest fouls in NBl history inside the first 40 seconds of tip-off!

Goulding already had swished a three from the top of the key but was called for hitting a screen at the other end, then for falling over at the same time as Andrew Bogut and being somehow held responsible.

It was crazy but made no difference to Melbourne's plans as Melo Trimble hit the floor early and went off to the tune of 24 first-half points.

He was unstoppable while Casper Ware was unstartable, Shea Ili wearing the Kings' trump card like a glove.

After going 0-of-8, Ware finally scored his first basket midway through the third quarter, only to be immediately subbed out by Kings coach Will Weaver.

That made zero sense at the time unless he asked for a breather, just as Vickerman's decision to sit Trimble and Shawn Long (23 points at 67 per cent, 4-of-6 threes, 11 rebounds) after the duo were personally responsible for extending United's three-quarter time lead of 69-60 to 78-62, also was baffling.

When the Kings' roll started, it started in earnest and by the end, turned into a steamroll with United absolutely flattened.

Jae'Sean Tate (23 points, 4-of-6 threes) and Shaun Bruce got the roll rolling, Tate's 3-pointer for 69-78 forcing Melbourne into a timeout.

It made no difference as Didi Louzada joined the fray with a triple which Tate followed with one of his own. At 75-78, the arena was in full voice and Melbourne's legs turning to jelly.

Louzada trimmed it back further to 77-78 before Trimble finally paused the run at 15-0 and at 80-77, gave his team some semblance of hope.

But Melbourne in truth was all at sea while Sydney had totally honed in on securing Game 1 and would not be stopped.

Ware cut the deficit back to a point and Louzada's 3-pointer with 44 seconds left meant the home team was up 82-80 and not going to be headed.

Xavier Cooks had a career-high 13 points with nine rebounds and four assists, Brad Newley also holding the fort when United was looking unbelievably good, the veteran finishing with 17 points, including 10-of-12 from the stripe.

Trimble's 34 points was a terrific solo effort, Goulding hindered by foul woes and Mitch McCarron (two points) and David Barlow (zero) with much to do Monday to extend this to a deciding Game 3.


2 v 3:
(Cotton 42, Kay 23, Norton 12, Wagstaff 10; Kay 9 rebs; Kay, Cotton 6 assts) d CAIRNS TAIPANS 107 (Machado 31, Newbill 25, Oliver 19, Jawai 10; Oliver 18 rebs; Machado 9 assts) in overtime {93-93} at The Jungle, RAC Arena. Crowd: 10,858
Game 2: Sunday, March 1 – Cairns Convention Centre, 5pm AEDT / 4pm local
Game 3 (If Req): Thursday, March 5 - RAC Arena, 9:30pm AEDT / 6:30pm local
1 v 4:
(Tate 23, Newley 17, Cooks 13; Bogut 10 rebs; Ware 5 assts) d MELBOURNE UNITED 80 (Trimble 34, Long 23; Long 11 rebs; Trimble 5 assts) at The Kingdome, Qudos Bank Arena. Crowd: 13,103
Game 2: Monday, March 2 – Melbourne Arena, 7:30pm AEDT / 7:30pm local
Game 3 (If Req): Thursday, March 5 – Qudos Bank Arena, 7:30pm AEDT / 7:30pm local

Feb 29

Content, unless otherwise indicated, is © copyright Boti Nagy.