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As scripted, United storms into NBL Finals

MELBOURNE United today closed NBL 2019-20's regular season with an emphatic 109-90 rout of new derby rival South East Melbourne in Throwdown IV, clinching the fourth berth for the playoffs.

Free throws and a triple by United captain and championship Larry Sengstock Medallist Chris Goulding (28 points, 8-of-13, 6-of-11 threes, three rebounds, three assists, three steals) set Melbourne en route to an 11-0 start from which the Phoenix never truly recovered.

Melbourne's 34-24 lead at quarter-time came off its highest-scoring opener of the season and left Brisbane Bullets fans in no doubt what was to follow.

David Barlow continued his recent recall of how to play well, knocking down 18 points on a perfect 6-of-6 shooting, with 5-of-5 threes, Shawn Long with a 21-point, 11-rebound double-double.

Melo Trimble's 20 points included three 3-pointers as United struck 17-of-33 from long range.

With so much to play for, the outcome was established early, Melbourne now able to focus its attention on a best-of-three rematch of last year's semi final series against regular season champion Sydney.

The round was huge, Melbourne's big win over Cairns to tip it off setting the scene. New Zealand then jumped into fourth place after beating the Phoenix, Sydney, Perth and Cairns already entrenched.

When Brisbane routed the Taipans by 36, New Zealand was eliminated and the last invitation to the post-season party awaiting United, if it could get the job done today.

Clearly, it was mission accomplished.

(Goulding 23, Trimble 19, Barlow 15, Ili 12, Long 11, Kidd 10; Long 10 rebs; McCarron 8 assts) d CAIRNS TAIPANS 83 (Oliver 19, Jawai 16, Deng, Newbill 11, Machado 10; Oliver 14 rebs; Machado 9 assts) at The UN, Hisense Arena. Crowd: 6,315
NEW ZEALAND BREAKERS 92 (Hopson 23, Loe, Abercrombie 18, Henry 14; 4 with 5 rebs; Hopson 10 assts) d SOUTH EAST MELBOURNE PHOENIX 83 (Roberson 15, Pineau 14, Gibson 12, Madgen 11, Adnam, Walker 10; Pineau 7 rebs; Roberson 8 assts) at The Break Bread, Christchurch. Crowd: 5,053
SYDNEY KINGS 98 (Tate, Ware 19, Newley 13, Taylor 12; Cooks 11 rebs; 4 with 3 assts) d ILLAWARRA HAWKS 82 (Dech 26, Glover 15; Glover 8 rebs; Glover 4 assts) at The Kingdome, Qudos Bank Arena. Crowd: 11,047
BRISBANE BULLETS 124 (Sobey 30, Gliddon 25, Singler 21, Patterson 17, Cadee 14; Hodgson, Singler, Sobey 8 rebs; Sobey 7 assts) d CAIRNS TAIPANS 88 (Deng 20, Oliver 13, Krslovic 12; Krslovic 8 rebs; Djeric 4 assts) at The Armoury, Nissan Arena. Crowd: 5,145
PERTH WILDCATS 94 (Kay 23, Plumlee, Steindl 14, Wagstaff 12; Norton 8 rebs; Norton 5 assts) d ADELAIDE 36ERS 79 (Johnson 18, McVeigh 16, Froling 11, Drmic 10; Johnson 11 rebs; Froling 5 assts) at The Jungle, RAC Arena. Crowd: 13,493
MELBOURNE UNITED 109 (Goulding 28, Long 21, Trimble 20, Barlow 18; Long 11 rebs; McCarron 7 assts) d SOUTH EAST MELBOURNE PHOENIX 90 (Madgen 23, Wesley 20, Roberson 13, Adnam 12; Wesley 6 rebs; Adnam 7 assts) at The Fire Pit, Hisense Arena. Crowd: 9,501



Game 1: Friday, February 28 – RAC Arena, 9:30pm AEDT

Game 2: Sunday, March 1 – Cairns Convention Centre, 5pm AEDT 

Game 3 (If Req): Thursday, March 5 – RAC Arena, 9:30pm AEDT


Game 1: Saturday, February 29 – Qudos Bank Arena, 7:30pm AEDT

Game 2: Monday, March 2 – Melbourne Arena, 7:30pm AEDT

Game 3 (If Req): Thursday, March 5 – Qudos Bank Arena, 7:30pm AEDT

All broadcast live on SBS VICELAND, SBS On Demand, ESPN and SKY Sport. They will also be live streamed on Facebook, Twitch and NBL TV.

Feb 16

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