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United snare Cup again

MELBOURNE United today collected its second Loggins-Bruton Cup in three years as NBL Blitz champion when it smacked a depleted Perth 93-67 at the State Basketball Centre.

Melbourne's win closed the 2017 Blitz, which tipped off in Traralgon on Thursday, the club also winning the preseason Cup in Townsville in 2015.

United finished on 14 championship points (3 per win, 1 point per quarter won), as did defending Cup-holder Illawarra, Melbourne winning on the tie-breaking for-against points system.

Brisbane finished on 13.5 points after losing today to Cairns Taipans 90-102, with NZ Breakers fourth on 12.5 pointrs after stopping Adelaide 84-72.

Illawarra beat Sydney 96-80 to take early NSW bragging rights.

Brisbane import Travis Trice collected the Ray Borner Medal as Blitz MVP, in what turned into the first NBL preseason series since they tipped off in Sydney in 1987 where no team went through undefeated and none went without a win.

And we all thought LAST year was extremely even!

(Perth Wildcats forward Lucas Walker may have been unlucky to miss on the Borner Medal, playing aggressively all tournament and with a point to make/prove.)

Most teams played the Blitz with significant absentees, rendering form or result conclusions largely irrelevant.

Paperwork issues kept new 36ers playmaker Shannon Shorter out of the Blitz, the triple-double exponent to make his debut for Adelaide in Singapore later this month at the Merlion Cup.


MELBOURNE UNITED 93 (Wesley 18, Boone 17, Barlow 14, Goulding 11, Smith-Milner 10; Boone, Wesley 7 rebs; Ware 7 assts) d PERTH WILDCATS 67 (Kernich-Drew 26, Walker 13; Vague 6 rebs; Kenny, Wagstaff 3 assts ) at State Basketball Centre.

ILLAWARRA HAWKS 96 (Conger 21, Ogilvy 19, Clarke 16, Norton 12; Conger 8 rebs; White, Martin, Clarke 4 assts) d SYDNEY KINGS 80 (Ellis, Leslie 20, Blanchfield 17; Leslie 8 rebs; Cadee 5 assts) at Kilsyth Stadium.

NEW ZEALAND BREAKERS 84 (Abercrombie 15, Newbill 14, Vukona, Ili 12, Raukawa 10; Pledger 9 rebs; Pledger 4 assts) d ADELAIDE 36ERS 72 (Johnson 18, Creek 11, Drmic 10; Roberts 8 rebs; Sobey, Doyle 3 assts) at Mill Park Stadium.

CAIRNS TAIPANS 102 (Carrera 26, Gliddon 24, McCarron 13, Loughton, Heuir 12; ) d BRISBANE BULLETS 90 at Werribee Basketball Stadium.

MERLION CUP: Next for 36ers, including a match against former NBL club Singapore Slingers

Sep 10

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