Tag: Brian Bowen

NBL 2019/20 Weekend preview: Round 1 – Inaugural Throwdown opens season

SEVEN of the National Basketball League (NBL) sides begin their campaign this weekend with Melbourne United having a double-up in Round 1, while Adelaide 36ers and New Zealand Breakers have an extra week of pre-season ahead of their start in Round 2. We take a look at the four games across the weekend with one game on each day to satisfy fans across the country.

MELBOURNE UNITED vs. SOUTH EAST MELBOURNE PHOENIX
Thursday, October 3, 7.30pm
Melbourne Arena

The season opener is the inaugural ‘Throwdown’ between grand finalists, Melbourne United and new team on the block in South East Melbourne Phoenix. United is a proven talent that has lost some serious firepower, but also gained some at the same time which makes them very hard to tip against in the this contest. Melo Trimble made the massive move down south after a dominant season with Cairns, joining the likes of Chris Goulding, Mitch McCarron and the currently injured David Barlow. Shea Ili also crossed from the Breakers, with teammate Shawn Long also making the jump with the pair signing one-year deals. Sam McDaniel earned a full-time roster spot after a good season last year as a development player and continuing that form with the Southern Sabres in the NBL1.

South East Melbourne Phoenix have made it clear they are not in the competition to make up the numbers, with Sydney trio, Dane Pineau, Kyle Adnam and Deng Acuoth all joining the new franchise, with Brisbane’s Adam Gibson and arguably the top signing from the NBL contingent in New Zealand Breakers’ Tai Wesley. Seeing Wesley going head-to-head with Trimble will be great, but the most dangerous player is G-League and Boomers’ star Mitch Creek who tasted National Basketball Association (NBA) action last season and has come home to lead up the new franchise. As already mentioned, it is hard to tip against the established team in United, but with a few question marks over sore players, the Phoenix have more than enough talent to compensate and would love to open their NBL inaugural season with a win.

CAIRNS TAIPANS vs. SYDNEY KINGS
Friday, October 4, 7.30pm
Cairns Convention Centre

The Taipans finished last on the NBL table last season and will be keen to start the new season off on the right foot with an upset win over last year’s finalists, Sydney Kings. Playing in front of a home crowd, the Taipans will be without star Trimble who departed to join Melbourne, while Kuany Kuany will suit up for the opposition in this match. The Taipans managed to pinch Majok Deng from Adelaide, while mostly looking outside the country for new recruits with Los Angeles Lakers’ Scott Machado, G-League talent Cameron Oliver and Mirko Djeric from the European leagues coming into the side. They will need to be at their best and gel quickly if they are to make an impact early in the season, but will be able to rely on the likes of Jarrod Kenny, Nathan Jawai and DJ Newbill still running the court.

Sydney have made massive changes to its roster with just four players contracted that were on the list last season. NBL Most Valuable Player (MVP), Andrew Bogut will again be the centrepiece of the organisation, but this time he will have the talented Casper Ware who caused a stir crossing from rivals United to the Kings. Craig Moller joined him, while Shaun Bruce came from the 36ers with Kuany and Lucas Walker travelling south from Cairns. Brad Newley, Kevin Lisch and Daniel Kickert will look to create some stability in a side with the likes of young stars Brian Bowen (NBA) and Tom Wilson (AFL) both leaving the league completely. Despite the changes, Sydney head into this game as strong favourites, it will just be whether or not the Kings can gel with so many fresh faces in the door.

PERTH WILDCATS vs. MELBOURNE UNITED
Saturday, October 5, 5.30pm
RAC Arena

The match of the round is the Grand Final replay between reigning premiers Perth Wildcats, and unlucky runners-up United. The Wildcats are the most stable side of any team in the competition with eight players re-signed to the list, including crucial duo, Bryce Cotton and Terrico White. The pair will likely renew hostilities with Trimble and Ili who will rep the different colours in 2019/20. The ace in the pace is Dario Hunt who has joined the club from Italy, while Majok Majok transferred from New Zealand Breakers to the Wildcats over the off-season. With such an even team contribution leading to the premiership last season, the Wildcats should be no different in 2019/20 with so many ways to punish the opposition, led by the dominant Cotton.

United will head into this game with a match already in the books having taken on the Phoenix 46 hours prior. They will be keen to make the most of recovery, with the plane trip west likely to bring back some disappointing memories after going down to Perth in the deciding playoff series last year. They could start really strongly as the team that has had the first full game hitout in the round compared to the Wildcats who will undoubtedly celebrate last year’s success in front of the visiting side pre-game. But depending on how the Phoenix game goes, the Wildcats might have the fresher legs to finish the match which means it could be down to the wire. A win against their title nemesis would be crucial in the mental games for the season for Melbourne, while a win for the Wildcats will throw extra salt in the wounds for United. Trimble vs. Cotton is a much-watch battle to see which player can have the most impact for his club.

ILLAWARRA HAWKS vs. BRISBANE BULLETS
Sunday, October 6, 3pm
WIN Entertainment Centre

In the final game of the round, all eyes will be on LaMelo Ball as he makes his NBL debut against Brisbane Bullets at home in Illawarra. The potential 2020 NBA top draft pick will have plenty of exuberance in his first official game on Australian courts, teaming up with the likes of Josh Boone who was a massive recruit from United, while Aaron Brooks has returned after playing with Creek at the Timberwolves in the NBA. David Anderson, Todd Blanchfield, Tim Coenraad and Angus Glover all re-signed for the club that missed out on finals last season, while Sam Froling showed enough during the NBL1 to suggest he will be more than a handful for opposition clubs this season. Kevin White and Brian Conklin are among those who have departed the club, but largely as a whole, the Hawks have brought in far more talent than they have lost.

Brisbane announced a huge signing themselves over the off-season with Nathan Sobey signing on for three years from the 36ers. He will be the man to watch on the court, teaming up with Cam Gliddon and Jason Cadee as the key players within the Bullets’ arsenal. Like the Wildcats, they are a settled side with eight players re-signing from last season, as Adam Gibson and Jeremy Kendle were the key players to depart the club. This might be a tight contest given the relative unknown of the impact that the imports and recruits will have for the Hawks, with the Bullets having more of a known quantity. It got them to finals last season, and Sobey coming in will only strengthen the side. The Hawks should be marginally favourites due to the Triple B impact of Ball, Boone and Brooks, but the Bullets will not lie down in this contest.

Young Gun Spotlight: NBL – Semi-finals

WHILE it was not the most exciting National Basketball League (NBL) semi-final battles over the weekend, some of the competitions young stars were shining. A lot of our leagues youngsters were included on the bench, with some getting looks. Brian Bowen was competitive for the Kings, as was Tom Wilson in their losses. The other team to lose, Brisbane, were assisted by AJ Davis. The team’s into the Grand Final – Perth and Melbourne – have talent on the bench, but greater firepower were selected over them across their games.

Sydney Kings – #11 Brian Bowen

A slow start to his first playoff appearance, only grabbing two points at Melbourne Arena. However, Bowen was good otherwise with five rebounds (two offensive) and three assists – the equal-most of Sydney this game. Adding to a defensive game, he saw himself grab a steal and two blocks. Bowen managed 13 and a half minutes in the Kings second loss of the series and contributed well for his first post-season. He put up five points, but scored the second-highest rebounds of his team with six, two of those being offensive rebounds.

Brisbane Bullets – #11 AJ Davis

Davis had a great game against the Wildcats in Perth. In almost 18 minutes he scored seven points at 60 per cent and the second-most team rebounds with six (two being on the offensive end). In Brisbane, he finished with eight points (80% from inside). He had four rebounds and a block and steal each too.

Sydney Kings – #7 Tom Wilson

Not the best series for Wilson who played four minutes in total across the two games, and didn’t score a basket. He only put up one shot in each game, but at home on Sunday, he added an assist. In a positive, he ended both games with a +/- of one, despite the Kings being comprehensibly beaten.

Melbourne United – #14 Tohi Smith-Miller

The United forward, like Wilson wasn’t used a lot during the series. With only three minutes court time overall, he did put up two shots but didn’t convert either.

Melbourne United – #55 Venky Jois

Jois had a nice start to the series, shooting one of one for two points in Melbourne, a game which included a defensive rebound. He did see any court time in Sydney though.

Perth Wildcats – #26 Rhys Vague

Another young guy who didn’t see much time on court, two minutes in the first game, where he pulled down one rebound. Vague didn’t play against the Bullets in Brisbane.

Melbourne United – #30 Sam McDaniel

McDaniel was on court in both games, but didn’t make a dent on the scoreboard, nor did he have any rebounds or assists.

Brisbane Bullets – #12 Will Magnay

Like others, he played in the loss in Perth for two minutes but didn’t put down any stats, and had no time in Brisbane.

Perth Wildcats – #10 Kyle Bowen

Bowen played more than a minute and a half at home for one rebound, in his third game of the season.

Perth Wildcats – #9 Wani Swaka Lo Buluk

Another player who didn’t see any action, he’s only played three games this season.

Brisbane Bullets – #4 Tyrell Harrison

Harrison was part of the side in Brisbane but didn’t get on court, and wasn’t included in the squad for the Perth trip.

Melbourne United – #5 Sam Short

Short played two minutes in Melbourne, but didn’t make a dent on the stats sheet.

Brisbane Bullets – #9 Callum Dalton

Dalton was part of the squad in Brisbane, but didn’t get on the court for the Bullets loss.

Young Gun Spotlight: NBL – Round 18

THE home and away season for the 2018/19 National Basketball League (NBL) season is done and dusted, and some of the league’s youngest earned themselves massive plaudits for their work. The prestigious NBL Awards were held on Sunday too with the Adelaide 36ers Harry Froling taking out Rookie Of The Year, an accolade that is so in line with his play this season. The degree of under 23’s in the league and the might they bring to their teams are also capped off by earning call-ups to the national squad. The likes of Daniel Grida, Jack McVeigh, Tom Wilson and Froling are among a 12-man team to take on Kazakhstan and Iran in World Cup qualifiers.

Cairns Taipans – #1 Melo Trimble

The Cairns guard was a bit more composed against United, intent on getting the ball to his teammates more than anything, seen by his nine assists. He did contribute greatly in the points column with a team-high 21. Defensively he played well too, grabbing five rebounds and two steals. He had the same points tally against Sydney, 10 of which came from the line, otherwise Trimble went at 25 per cent from the floor. In this game he had eight rebounds and five assists to cap off an incredible year.

Illawarra Hawks – #11 Daniel Grida

In the Hawks’ final game for the season, Grida was determined to end on a high. He top-scored for the Hawks with 17 points and went four of six from outside. In more than 20 minutes for court time, Grida managed one rebound, one assist and one block.

New Zealand Breakers – #3 Finn Delany

Delany played 19 minutes against the Hawks on Thursday night, and did well, finishing with 12 points at 80 per cent shooting. He brought down two defensive rebounds, provided two assists and a steal in the win. Against Brisbane on Saturday, Delany had nine points and three rebounds.

Sydney Kings – #20 Brian Bowen

Bowen finished off his season well against Cairns, with an eight-point game, 60 per cent from inside the arc. He was able to gather five rebounds and provide a block too as the Kings held off the Taipans in a close one.

Sydney Kings – #7 Tom Wilson

After a season where Wilson has not seen a lot of time on court, he made his four minutes count on Saturday. He scored five points, going 100 per cent from the field and will look for more opportunities with the Kings in the playoffs.

Adelaide 36ers – #11 Harry Froling

Froling’s last six games have followed the same pattern: 10 points, seven, four, 10, seven, and against Perth he had four points. Though he played his lowest amount of game time in a long time, he also added a rebound to his end tally.

Adelaide 36ers – #9 Jack McVeigh

Another Adelaide youngster who failed to get into the game completely, McVeigh only had three minutes. He knocked down a three pointer in the first quarter, but that was his only score for the 36ers loss to Perth.

Perth Wildcats – #25 Rhys Vague

Vague did not have the best weekend as his dry run of scoring came up to six games. In the first game against Adelaide, he had one assist. Vague played 10 minutes against United, but managed three rebounds and one assist too.

Brisbane Bullets – #11 AJ Davis

Got his chance with 13.5 minutes, but did not make any of his four attempts to score, instead converting two shots from the line to finish with that amount at the end. He had one rebound and a block to end the night.

Melbourne United – #55 Venky Jois

Jois enjoyed game time early on against Cairns, and while on court for just over four minutes, made an impact with two points, one rebound and two assists. Jois was all nought against Perth.

Melbourne United – #14 Tohi Smith-Milner

Smith-Milner was given a lot of time, but did not have a lasting impact. He made two free throws after missing two field goals and gave away three personal fouls.

Young Gun Spotlight: NBL – Round 17

THE one game for Cairns of Round 17 in the National Basketball League (NBL) was plenty for Melo Trimble to show the Orange Army his the top heights of game. Finn Delany had a season-high points tally, as did Daniel Grida as they continue their form to the end of the season. After a tough 2018/19 NBL season, and heading into the last round, the young guns will look to cement themselves into their teams for the next season by finishing the upcoming week strongly.

Cairns Taipans – #1 Melo Trimble

Just the one game for Cairns in Round 17 and Trimble was there to provide the entertainment. In their win over Brisbane (effectively knocking them out of finals contention), Trimble put down 23 points, well on his average of 22.6 points per game. He went to the line 13 times for 11 points and had four rebounds and an assist.

New Zealand Breakers – #3 Finn Delany

Delany had a great hitout in the Breakers first matchup between the 36ers at home. The game involved draining 16 points at 62.5 per cent, a season-high six rebounds, five assists and a block. Against Illawarra, he scored five points at 66.7 per cent and was able to add one rebound and two assists.

Adelaide 36ers – #11 Harry Froling

Froling really took the game on against New Zealand, putting up 10 attempts but only making three, as he also shot a perfect three of three from the line for a total of 10 points. He had five rebounds and two assists, while against Melbourne he had seven points (at 100 per cent) and four rebounds.

Illawarra Hawks – #11 Daniel Grida

Grida played the most minutes he ever had in the game against Brisbane, and he made the most of the court time. He finished with 13 points (beating last week’s then-season-high of 11 points) at 71.4 per cent, had two rebounds, three assists and two steals in a great game. It was a more low-key game when he met the Breakers, ending the game with two points, three rebounds and a steal.

Sydney Kings – #20 Brian Bowen

Another week where Bowen had one good game, one underperforming one. Against Melbourne in the Kings’ first game of the round, he had 12 points at 57.1 per cent, five rebounds, an assist and a steal. When Bowen travelled to Perth, he managed four points and two rebounds in 15.5 minutes.

Sydney Kings – #15 Ray Turner

A low-key weekend for Turner, who still contributed well. On Friday against United, he score four points going 100% from two-point range, while stealing the ball twice. When the Kings met Perth, Turner scored two points from free throws, reigned in two rebounds and provided an assist.

Adelaide 36ers – #9 Jack McVeigh

McVeigh only got two minutes against United for one rebound, but on Thursday night against the Breakers, he shot 100 per cent for six points, as well as having one rebound and assist.

Illawarra Hawks – #0 Nic Pozoglou

Starved of opportunities this season, Pozoglou was on court for two and a half minutes, making the last score for the Hawks of the game with a dunk, finishing with just that score plus a rebound.

Young Gun Spotlight: NBL – Round 16

PLENTY of talent shone throughout Round 16 of the National Basketball League (NBL) with the Kings’ Ray Turner a standout in the closing weeks of the season with career-highs aplenty. Kings teammate Brian Bowen, as well as AJ Davis, Finn Delaney and Jack McVeigh were all impressive. Fabijan Krslovic returned for the Taipans, while an MVP favourite from that team may have lost his mojo a bit, but Melo Trimble is still contributing a lot of points for the last-placed Cairns.

Sydney Kings – #15 Ray Turner

Turner is a revelation for the Kings in the back-end of the season, He had career-highs over the course of this round with nine points on Friday, followed by another six on Sunday. He doubly improved on his rebounds, four in the Kings’ first game of the round and six in the second at home where he had his first assist of the season too. He had one block in each game also, continuing to highlight a defensive prowess.

Cairns Taipans – #1 Melo Trimble 

The league’s top scorer hit below 20 for the first time since Round 12 when he made 13 points against Brisbane. Trimble made 13 points against Illawarra, but continued his hot form with 21 points two days earlier. Also against Adelaide, he had five rebounds, four assists and two steals. On Monday, Trimble had another four rebounds and a whopping 11 assists with another two steals. Unfortunately for the MVP candidate, he five turnovers in each game this round and has shot below 39 per cent for the last three games. 

New Zealand Breakers – #3 Finn Delaney 

In the Breakers double-header against United, Delaney shot 21 combined points (10 and 11 points on Friday and Sunday), each at 60% from two point range. He had two rebounds with the first game and followed it up with five (three offensive) in the away game on Sunday, where he also had three assists.

Brisbane Bullets – #11 AJ Davis

Davis had a very nice weekend, even though the Bullets lost both games this round to the Kings. The forward had six points on Friday, and went better on Sunday with four of five for eight points. He had three rebounds in the first hitout, and none in the second, although had an assist, with one block in each game too.

Sydney Kings – #20 Brian Bowen

After his scoreless game last round, Bowen hit back with 13 points on Friday against Brisbane at 66.7 per cent. It was an equal-second season-best score for the 20 year-old who also had two rebounds. In the second match, Bowen had a low three points, but made up for it with four rebounds and one assist.

Illawarra Hawks – #11 Daniel Grida

Grida played two games this weekend and after a three-point outing in Perth, he backed that up with 11 points when hosting the Taipans. His first match consisted of two rebounds and he added another three to his season tally on Monday night, where he too had a steal.

Adelaide 36ers – #9 Jack McVeigh

McVeigh put up some good numbers in the 36ers clash with Cairns, the forward netting his third consecutive double-digit score with 10 points. He kept his almost-perfect free throw percentage in tact with four from four as he also pulled down a rebound in Adelaide’s win.

Cairns Taipans – #20 Fabijan Krslovic

Krslovic returned to the fore this round with two massive games. Against the 36ers, he managed 11 points at 71.4 per cent, which included a three pointer. In his extended game time, he also managed seven rebounds. Against the Hawks, he went one of one for two points with two rebounds.

Adelaide 36ers – #11 Harry Froling

Just the one game this round for the 36ers and Froling shot 100 per cent on his way to just four points against the Taipans. In that game he also had three rebounds and three assists.

Melbourne United – #52 Venky Jois

Jois performed really well when he played more than five minutes on Friday night against New Zealand. He filled all the columns with a two pointer, one assist and four rebounds, three of which were offensive. 

Sydney Kings – #7 Tom Wilson

Wilson got on the court again this round, but it was not for long. In his minute and half, he did convert two free throws within the last 40 seconds of the game.

Young gun spotlight: NBL – Round 15

THERE were eight games played across Round 15 of the National Basketball League (NBL), which meant many of the league’s rising stars were able to strut their stuff on the court. Melo Trimble still is the best shooter in the league, while players like Jack McVeigh and Finn Delaney are turning into fine basketballers. Harry Froling won’t be down for long, while for United, Venky Jois made some impact in his first game.

Adelaide 36ers – #11 Harry Froling

Froling had a little dip this weekend, but he is a star already born and in the 36ers outfit, is helping them on a run towards the top four. Coming against two top teams, against Perth he was able to put up 10 points, while also recording five rebounds. Against Melbourne, he had seven points but shot at a low 28.6 per cent from the field. In that game he had two rebounds, an assist and a steal.

Adelaide 36ers – #9 Jack McVeigh

McVeigh is popping up at the right time and gets better with how many games he has played. He was on court for more than 20 minutes in his two games and his stats show he is destined for greatness in the league. Against Perth, he had 12 points, four rebounds and two assists He followed that up on Monday night with 11 points, nine rebounds and two assists.

Illawarra Hawks – #11 Daniel Grida

Grida had an alright weekend, playing 11 and 14 minutes in his two games against Melbourne and Cairns respectively. Against United, he made four points and had a seal too. Against the Taipans, Grida managed a three pointer, while also contributing four rebounds, a season-high for him.

New Zealand Breakers – #3 Finn Delaney

Delaney always seems to take his game to new levels. On the weekend, he spent some of his longest time on the court of this season, and it resulted in some big points and plays. Against Cairns, Delaney had 12 points, shooting 100 per cent to go with a rebound and assist each. In his second game of the round, Delaney put down 17 points and was six of seven from inside the arc. Pair that with four rebounds, five assists and a steal and block each, it was a pretty sound game from the youngster.

Cairns Taipans – #1 Melo Trimble

The best shooter in the league is still going strong at 23.1 points a game. Playing against New Zealand and Illawarra, Trimble shot 31 and 24 points respectively. He had very good games that includes four rebounds and six assists against the Breakers, while adding five rebounds and four assists to his stats line when playing the Hawks. In each game he had two steals, averaging 1.3 for the season.

Sydney Kings – #20 Brian Bowen

It’s a bit hit and miss for Bowen at the moment, not getting the numbers we were used to seeing in the midway mark of the competition. Nevertheless, he still gets considerable game time at the Kings. Against Brisbane he scored four points, but went at 20%, also setting up two goals from assists. Against Perth, he didn’t score from two attempts but this time had three rebounds (his first since January 11), an assist and a steal.

Brisbane Bullets – #11 AJ Davis

Davishad some more time on court this weekend, but couldn’t perform like the round before. This round he played Sydney for 12 minutes, but could not manage a score from two attempts, but still saw a rebound and assist to his name. Against New Zealand, he went one of three with a rebound.

Sydney Kings – #15 Ray Turner

After going stat-less in the matchup with the Bullets, he played over seven and a half minutes against the Wildcats, and made the most of it. He shot four of five from the floor for eight points, had two rebounds and a steal too. he could be a handy player for the finals campaign.

Sydney Kings – #7 Tom Wilson

Wilson had had some court time this season , but this was the one where he etched himself into the game. He played over four and a half minutes against Perth and knocked down a two, plus a free throw and even pulled down a rebound.

Melbourne United – #14 Tohi Smith-Miller

The United forward didn’t play heaps against the Hawks and 36ers, but in the game on Monday night in Adelaide, he converted two free throws and put in a steal.

Melbourne United – #52 Venky Jois

Jois had his first minutes for United and the 23 year-old had one attempt and made it for two points. In his minute of game time, he also had a rebound.

Young gun spotlight: NBL – Round 14

TWO players each from the Adelaide 36ers and Brisbane Bullets made their mark on Round 14 with some solid performances. Melo Trimble shone once again for the Taipans, while Finn Delany was convincing for the Breakers.

Cairns Taipans – #1 Melo Trimble

He’s the best shooter in the league at the moment and followed up his 74-point weekend last round with another 55 points across two games in Round 14. Firstly, against Brisbane, he scored 23 points including 75 per cent from deep. He was also perfect from the line, as he shot 54.5 per cent from the field. He managed three rebounds, one assist and two steals. Against New Zealand, in a game that went to overtime, Trimble scored 32 points, going at 52.5 per cent overall. If that’s not enough, he had five rebounds and assists each.

Adelaide 36ers – #11 Harry Froling 

Froling found himself on the bench again on Thursday night, but still amassed 20 minutes on court. He netted eight points but his eight rebounds in this game against Perth was a game-high. He too had a game-high eight rebounds against the Kings later in the round, where he pocketed 14 points at five of eight shooting.

New Zealand Breakers – #3 Finn Delany

Delany had a better Round 14 than the week before, where this time around against Illawarra he was able to shoot 100 per cent from the field to gather seven points. He also had two rebounds and two assists. Delany enjoyed the extra time against Cairns, and his game time was extended as a result. His first score of this game was a three-pointer, one of two he made for the game on his way to 15 points. He also had four rebounds, one assist and four fouls on him.

Adelaide 36ers – #9 Jack McVeigh

McVeigh had a wonderful weekend with the 36ers, getting court time he’s never seen before. He had around 17 minutes in each of Adelaide’s Round 14 matches and enjoyed success, obviously making the most of his chances. Against the Wildcats he had eight points, seven rebounds and two assists, adding a block as well. Against the Kings, McVeigh had nine points at 60 per cent shooting, as well as four rebounds and an assist.

Brisbane Bullets – #12 Will Magnay

Magnay didn’t star for the Bullets, and in five minutes, he shot one field goal and made it for two points.

Sydney Kings – #20 Brian Bowen

Bowen played one game this round for Sydney, coming up against the 36ers. He played almost 15 minutes and managed eight points at 60 per cent. Unfortunately, there was no rebounds or assists for Bowen.

Brisbane Bullets – #24 Tyrell Harrison

Harrison, like Magnay was in the game for less than three and a half minutes and he too made a two pointer from just the one attempt. 

Perth Wildcats – #25 Rhys Vague

It’s so great to see young National Basketball League (NBL) stars getting starts for their sides, and that’s what occurred for Vague on the weekend. On Thursday against the 36ers, he played 25 and a half minutes and rewarded himself with a season-high 10 points. His added time also saw him end the game with four rebounds, three assists and a block. In his second game against United, he was back on the bench but still managed five points and five rebounds.




Young gun spotlight: NBL – Round 13

A front-runner for Most Valuable Player (MVP) in Melo Trimble put on an incredible shooting masterclass throughout a period of success for Cairns, while Brian Bowen had a great time on court at home against the Breakers. Adelaide youngster, Harry Froling was inducted into the starting five with continued fascinating stats. Daniel Grida and AJ Davis are still finding their way, but are pulling in good numbers to get consistent court time.

Cairns Taipans – #1 Melo Trimble

This man is king. A combined 74 points in the Snakes’ two Round 13 matches! First up, the Taipans stunned Perth and Trimble scored 32 points including 85.7 per cent from deep. He showcased his explosive skills with seven rebounds and an assist. It was also his first game this season where Trimble was well mannered, not giving away a foul. In the final game of the round, Trimble got going early, contributing 18 of his 42 points in the first quarter alone (which Cairns led 25-18). From 29 attempts, 16 shots went in, which included seven of 10 outside. He had three rebounds, one assist and drew eight fouls against him. 

Adelaide 36ers – #11 Harry Froling

Well the call was made last week about Froling being on the cusp of featuring in the starting five, and it’s exactly what occurred on Saturday. He made the most of every one of his opportunities, putting in 14 points at 62 per cent shooting, and four of six from outside. His displays of confidence are being seen throughout the league as he added three rebounds, one assist and one steal. He also was involved in the contest against Illawarra on Thursday night where he was sinking every shot he attempted that included two threes. Froling also brought down four rebounds, assisted one score and had another steal.

Sydney Kings – #20 Brian Bowen

Well, Bowen did have a game of four last round, but not before he shot an incredible 12 points – his first double-digit score since Round 7 against United (15). Bowen also had four rebounds and one assist in the game against the Breakers. It wasn’t a pleasant night for Sydney’s contest against the Hawks, and it translated to Bowen too, who only scored four points but had a block and remained in the positive (plus five) through the game.

Illawarra Hawks – #11 Daniel Grida

On Friday night, Grida played the lowest time of anyone else who made their way onto the court, but managed four points, as well as one rebound and assist each in the Hawks’ narrow loss to Adelaide. He got more time on Sunday but shot one of four, nailing a three in the second quarter.

Brisbane Bullets – #11 AJ Davis

His debut must have impressed coach, Andrej Lemanis as Davis had 15 minutes on court in the Bullets’ win over Adelaide. He wasn’t afraid to shoot, attempting eight shots but only being successful on two. He also had three rebounds and a steal in his defensive game.

Weekend wash-up: NBL – Round 13

AS the regular season winds down, teams continue to jostle for positions in the final weeks, as the postseason draws near. It was another round filled with upsets, thrilling finishes and huge comebacks.

Illawarra Hawks (96) defeated by Adelaide 36ers (102)

Two teams battling to keep pace kicked off the round in an important contest. The Hawks continued their red hot shooting form of recent weeks, jumping out to a huge lead early in the first half as they controlled the rhythm and pace of the game. The 36ers were able to up the intensity on the defensive end after the first quarter in which they gave up 32, holding the Hawks to just 21, 25 and 18 points in the final three quarters. As the game slowed down, Adelaide was able to gain control and gradually cut the Hawks’ lead down. Adelaide used a 30-18 final quarter to run over the top of Illawarra and restart its push towards a finals berth. Brian Conklin and Todd Blanchfield did their part to keep the Hawks in contention but were unable to contend with Nathan Sobey and Ramone Moore who combined for 45 points and were catalysts in the victory. The win for the 36ers brings them to within just one game of Brisbane as we head into the final month of the season.

Sydney Kings (100) defeated New Zealand Breakers (92)

After a perfect week last week for the Breakers, going 2-0 with two impressive victories, they headed on the road to do battle with the ladder leaders, Sydney Kings. The teams enjoyed a fiercely competitive battle throughout the first three quarters, with the margin never reaching double figures, as the Kings took a one-point lead into the final term. The Kings’ hot shooting propelled them to an early lead in the fourth, one which they would not surrender thanks to the big shot-making ability of Brian Bowen who owned the final 10 minutes. Kevin Lisch and Jerome Randle were impressive as usual and made the key plays when it mattered most on both the offensive and defensive end. The ability of the Kings to win the close games has been critical for them all year and is the biggest factor in them maintaining first place to this point.  Their situational awareness and fearlessness in the biggest of moments will leave them in good stead come the postseason. The Breakers, despite the loss once again, showed they can compete with the best sides in the competition. They appear to be hitting their stride at the right time, led by Shawn Long, who is enjoying his best stretch of the season.

Perth Wildcats (79) defeated by Cairns Taipans (81)

The Wildcats and Taipans met for the third time this season,with Perth looking to go up 3-0 in the season series, having won the first two games by double digits. The Wildcats’ offensive woes of recent weeks continued in the first half, with them seemingly unable to generate any easy baskets to go along with the poor outside shooting. Their tenacity on the defensive end kept them  in the contest as they held the Taipans to just 44 points in the first half. TheTaipans continued to hold the lead deep into the contest before Perth came home with a huge flurry, cutting the lead to one in the final moments. Melo Trimble split a pair of free throws to increase the Taipans’ lead to two with seven seconds remaining, which set us up for the grand slam finish. Bryce Cotton got off a good look from three to win the game but was unsuccessful, as the Taipans won their second game in as many weeks and knocked Perth down to third on the ladder. Trimble starred for the winning side with 32 points and enjoyed a nice duel with Nicholas Kay and Bryce Cotton, who combined to score 38 points for Perth.

Adelaide 36ers (90) defeated by Brisbane Bullets (102)

After a crucial win on Thursday, the 36ers found themselves with a huge chance to jump the Brisbane Bullets and take over fourth position. They were well on their way to another win, holding a nine-point edge heading into the fourth quarter before going cold in the final 10 minutes as the Bullets got hot and found their offence. The Bullets outscored the 36ers 35-14 in the final term and ran out 12-point victors in a loss that significantly damages Adelaide’s chances as we draw closer and closer to the finals series. Lamar Patterson and Matthew Hodgson put in double doubles, controlling the offensive and defensive boards while former Chicago Bull, Cameron Bairstow provided the bulk of the offence with 20 points. Demitrius Conger added his second straight strong game for Adelaide and showed he can be a key part of their side moving forward. The victory for the Bullets puts them at 11 wins and nine losses from their first 20g ames, while the 36ers drop to 10-10 and miss out on a huge opportunity.

Sydney Kings (84) defeated by Illawarra Hawks (96)

The Kings returned home to take on the Hawks in a Sunday afternoon clash. With Perth losing earlier in the round, the Kings had a chance to increase their lead above the Wildcats and continue to hold off Melbourne United breathing down their neck. As was the case last week however, the Kings were unable to take advantage of the opportunity in front of them, dropping a rare home game in a largely noncompetitive game. Illawarra took advantage of the Kings early and jumped out to a double figure lead, which they would maintain for the majority of the contest. The Kings’ offence never really kicked into action, with the role players outside of Jerome Randle and Kevin Lisch unable to get going. Andrew Bogut did put in a strong game offensively but had limited opportunities on just six shots. The bench unit for the Hawks kept the lead well when the starters went out of the game, with Jordair Jett and Emmett Naar pouring in 34 points in limited action, providing the instant offence. The Hawks continue to be a tough out and will be a side to watch in the final weeks.

Cairns Taipans (89) defeated by Melbourne United (99)

In the final game of the round, the second place Melbourne United had a chance to keep pace with the Sydney Kings and close the round out even in the loss column. After winning just two of their first 15 games, the Taipans had a chance to have their first perfect week and start their first winning streak of the season. The Taipans appeared to be well on their way to that second straight victory after Melo Trimble hit a big three to put them up by 13 points with under five minutes to go. Out of the time-out, United were able to make the necessary adjustments to edge themselves back in the game and be in a position to pull off an improbable win. David Barlow’s three-pointer with 17 seconds remaining tied the game and with the Taipans missing the final shot, the game went into overtime. In the extra session, United continued the momentum they built at the end of regulation, scoring the first 12 points of overtime and ultimately cruising to an easy win. Despite the loss, Melo Trimble turned out the highest scoring game of the year, scoring 42 points and hitting seven three-pointers in an unbelievable effort. Casper Ware did his best to match Trimble’s heroics scoring 27 points to go along with his six assists and five rebounds. The win pulls United into a tie in the loss column with the Kings, just one victory away from top spot.

Young gun spotlight: NBL- Round 12

PLENTY of young National Basketball League (NBL) talent has been on show lately, and the new year brings with it more players getting more improved time on court. Melo Trimble is himself, lighting up the Taipans as they found their second win of the season, while Brian Bowen and Harry Froling are still performing strongly. Newcomers, Fabijan Krslovic, Tyrell Harrison and a debut from AJ Davis must’ve had Christmas wishes come true, getting some good looks on the floor.

Cairns Taipans – #1 Melo Trimble

Trimble shot 13 points to help Cairns get a surprising win against Brisbane on Thursday night. Besides that, he had no real effect, despite going at plus 26, but kept Bullets guards, Jason Cadee and Cam Gliddon to a combined eight points. In the final game of the round, the Taipans pushed the Kings and Trimble was helpful in netting 22 points, including three from beyond the arc. A better game, Trimble contributed with six rebounds and five assists and drew 11 fouls with his speed and evasiveness. 

New Zealand Breakers – #3 Finn Delaney

Had a great game for the Breakers in Round 11 against Adelaide with 18 points and five rebounds. He backed it up in Round 12 against the 36ers again, but only scored two points and one rebound. In the Breakers’ second game of the round, Delaney netted four points, along with three rebounds and an assist.

Adelaide 36ers – #11 Harry Froling

It’s probably little time until Froling starts for Adelaide,  with the 20 year-old putting up good numbers. His stat line against New Zealand read as 14 points and five rebounds. He shot 80 per cent from inside the arc, six from six at the line and was rebounding from both ends.

Brisbane Bullets – #11 AJ Davis

Davis had his debut for the Bullets against Melbourne, and in four minutes, he made one field goal from two attempts.

Illawarra Hawks – #11 Daniel Grida

Grida shot 10 points in Round 11 against Brisbane- a season-best for the Hawks guard. In Round 12, Grida had five points and one rebound.

Brisbane Bullets – #12 Will Magnay

Magnay had two trips to the line and converted two free throws, which was the amount of points he ended on. He also put up a block in his nine minutes on court.

Melbourne United – #14 Tohi Smith-Milner

Smith-Milner didn’t make an impact on the scoreboard but he did have one rebound to complement his five assists. He played a nice nine minute stint in United’s loss to Brisbane.

Cairns Taipans – #20 Fabijan Krslovic

Australian-born Krslovic, who moved from a four-year stint with the Montana Grizzlies in the National Collegiate Athletic Assocation (NCAA) division one, played his second game with court time this NBL season. He had two and a half minutes against the Bullets, shooting one for one in the last minute of the game, and was Cairns’ final scorer.

Sydney Kings – #20 Brian Bowen

You can’t bash Bowen for being consistent week-in, week-out. In the past eight games his points record is four, four, four, five, five, seven, seven and finally four against Cairns. So, that being said, maybe another four points is on the cards this round. Anyway, in Round 12, Bowen had seven points and three rebounds against the Hawks, followed by four points and seven rebounds against Cairns.

Brisbane Bullets – #24 Tyrell Harrison

The tall 214cm centre hasn’t seen much game time but the 19-year-old has helped the Bullets’ team. This week against the Taipans, he played two and a half minutes and was able to record an assist and rebound. The week before though, he played over three minutes for four points and one rebound, shooting 100 per cent, but missed one free throw from one attempt.

Perth Wildcats – #25 Rhys Vague

Vague had his second-highest points count of the season with eight, shooting 75 per cent. He added to his stats with three rebounds and one assist.

Melbourne United – #30 Sam McDaniel

It’s been a while since United featured on this list and McDaniel played just shy of five minutes against the Bullets on the Gold Coast. He’s still searching for his first points of the season, but he pulled down two rebounds.