Tag: Fabijan Krslovic

NBL Round 12 review: Upsets galore throw spanner into finals race

FIVE of the seven National Basketball League (NBL) games in Round 12 were won by the lower ranked side across the weekend, with only the eighth placed New Zealand Breakers’ last-second win over cellar dwellers Illawarra Hawks the sole triumph of the higher ranked sides from Friday through to Sunday until the Sydney Kings got up on Monday night. Losses to three of the top four sides, and wins to four of the bottom five really shook up the finals race, making it still very much anyone’s ball game when it comes to the post-season series.

New Zealand Breakers (90) defeated South East Melbourne Phoenix (84)

The first upset to drop over the weekend was New Zealand’s superb six-point triumph over South East Melbourne Phoenix on Friday night. The win kept New Zealand’s finals hopes alive, after winning three of the four quarters and surviving an almighty fightback from the Phoenix in the final term. The Breakers led by two points at quarter time and made it six by the main break, then looked home and hosed with a 26-19 third quarter to extend their lead out to 13 by three quarter time. It was not over just yet, as the Phoenix roared home with a 21-14 last quarter, though the slow start, and in particular the third term cost them, falling short, 84-90. Scotty Hopson was sensational for the winners piling on 24 points, nine rebounds and three assists, while Sek Henry continued his good form of late courtesy of 17 points, two rebounds and four assists. Thomas Abercrombie (15 points, two steals) and Finn Delany (13 points, eight rebounds and two assists) provided much needed support to the others, while Brandon Ashley contributed off the bench with 13 points and eight rebounds. Mitch Creek was the star for the Phoenix, posting 24 points, three rebounds and two assists on the night, while John Roberson had 13 points, seven assists and two rebounds. Also reaching double-figure points on the night was former New Zealand forward Tai Wesley (10 points, six rebounds) and Ben Madgen (11 points, seven rebounds), as Dane Pineau had nine points, nine rebounds and a game-high two blocks.

DC Medal: 3 – Scotty Hopson (NZ), 2 – Mitch Creek (SEM), 1 – Brandon Ashley (NZ)

Adelaide 36ers (84) defeated by Illawarra Hawks (93)

While the second bottom side got it done across the ditch, Illawarra Hawks stunned the Adelaide crowd with a nine-point upset win on the road against the 36ers. The Hawks kept their very slim finals hopes alive with the victory, while forced the 36ers to hold their fourth spot by just one game. Adelaide started okay with a one-point lead at quarter time, but then the Hawks completely blew them away in the second term, slamming home 30 points to 19 as they led by double-digits at the main break. Both sides were even in the third term, and the 36ers could only manage to chew into the deficit by a point in the final quarter as the visiting side stood up defensively in the 93-84 victory. The Hawks shared the points around on-court with Sunday Dech (18 points, two rebounds, two assists and two steals) leading the way, while Tim Coenraad (14 points, four rebounds and three assists) was also prominent. AJ Ogilvy came close to a double-double with a strong performance in the center thanks to 12 points, nine rebounds and four assists, as Todd Blanchfield (10 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals) also had an impressive game. For the 36ers, Jerome Randle was the standout from the shooters perspective, posting up 26 points and six assists in the win, teaming well with Daniel Johnson (19 points, four rebounds). Eric Griffin held up his own with nine points and 10 rebounds off the bench, while Jack McVeigh also picked up nine points from the pine, though the remainder of the nine players who got a run combined for 21 points.

DC Medal: 3 – AJ Ogilvy (IH), 2 – Jerome Randall (AD), 1 – Sunday Dech (IH)

Brisbane Bullets (87) defeated Sydney Kings (80)

If anyone suspected Friday night’s upsets were something in the stars, they were soon proven wrong as the seventh placed Brisbane Bullets stunned the top of the table Sydney Kings at home on Saturday. The Kings have lost their four games in the last 10 games to be fair, but the Bullets moved to within half a game of the 36ers, Cairns Taipans and Phoenix with the win. The Kings started strongly to lead by eight points at quarter time, before the home team kicked into gear with a couple of huge efforts defensively in the second and third quarters. Brisbane took the lead by three points after a 27-16 second term, then continued on with the momentum in the third thanks to a 21-13 quarter to extend it out to 11 by the final break. Sydney managed to pull the deficit back to seven by the final buzzer after a 22-18, but it was too little, too late for the premiership favourites. Will Magnay played his best game of the year for the Bullets finally earning a starting spot, posting a team-high 23 points, 14 rebounds and two blocks, taking control of the court. Lamar Patterson (15 points, three assists), Nathan Sobey (12 points, four rebounds and three assists) and Cameron Gliddon (13 points, five rebounds) were all strong contributors, but it was Magnay’s breakout game that really stood out on the night. For the Kings, Casper Ware helped himself to a game-high 26 points, five rebounds and three assists, while Jae’Sean Tate shot at 71.4 per cent from the field on his way to 13 points and three rebounds. They had plenty of players with quiet games in the match, but Daniel Kickert showed some signs coming off the bench with 12 points and three rebounds, while Xavier Cooks had seven rebounds to go with his three points.

DC Medal: 3 – Will Magnay (BB), 2 – Casper Ware (SK), 1 – Cameron Gliddon (BB)

Perth Wildcats (74) defeated by Melbourne United (87)

Melbourne United finally sought some revenge on Perth Wildcats for the 2018/19 NBL Grand Final loss, toppling the Wildcats by 13 points at RAC Arena on Saturday night. It was United’s first victory against the Wildcats since January this year, winning the first three quarters to ensure a comfortable 13-point win on the road. United started strongly to lead by two points at quarter time and extended that to eight by the main break. They kept getting stronger as the game went on, dominating the third term courtesy of a 22-14 quarter to put the margin out to 16 at the final break. The home team fought back to cut it to 13 by the final whistle, but it would not be enough as United celebrated a vital 87-74 win on the road to draw them within one and a half games. It was equally costly for the Wildcats who would have taken top spot – at least temporarily – from the Kings after Sydney dropped its game the day before. The usual suspects were at it again for United, as Shawn Long had yet another double-double with 23 points, 13 rebounds and three steals, while partner-in-crime Melo Trimble shared the game-high points of 23, as well as three rebounds and six assists. Mitch McCarron (12 points, 12 rebounds and four assists) also picked up a double-double, while David Barlow (11 points, five rebounds and two assists) and Chris Goulding (10 points) both reached double-figure points on the night. For the Wildcats, Bryce Cotton was restricted to just 15 points, two rebounds, three assists and three steals, a similarly lower than usual production was the case with Terrico White (14 points, two rebounds and two assists), while Nick Kay had 11 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals. Coming off the bench, Mitch Norton (nine points, three rebounds and two assists) and Dario Hunt (nine points, four rebounds) were both handy.

DC Medal: 3 – Shawn Long (MU), 2 – Mitch McCarron (MU), 1 – Melo Trimble (MU)

Illawarra Hawks (89) defeated by New Zealand Breakers (91)

There were probably not too many people expecting much from the bottom two clash between Illawarra Hawks and New Zealand Breakers, but it turned into an epic contest, right down to a final shot with just seconds remaining. Both sides were in the unusual position of coming off wins earlier in the weekend and therefore high on confidence, as New Zealand started the better of the two teams, leading by six points at quarter time and nine by the main break. Then the Hawks hit back to cut the deficit back to three points at the last change, before a high intensity last quarter saw the lead change and the teams level as late as just four seconds remaining on the clock, before Hopson sidestepped his opponent and drilled a jump shot with the clock counting down to win the game for the Breakers. While it was an important win for the Breakers in the scheme of their finals hopes, they also broke the hoodoo across the ditch, winning their first game on Australian soil for the 2019/20 NBL season after six consecutive losses. Hopson again starred with 21 points, eight rebounds and five assists, sharing the game-high points with Henry (21 points, two rebounds, five assists and three steals). Robert Loe was prominent in center with 13 points and two rebounds, while Abercrombie again was solid after 10 points and five rebounds. For the Hawks, Blanchfield lit it up with a team-high 19 points and three rebounds, as Ogilvy (18 points, seven rebounds) produced another sterling performance, and Emmett Naar (17 points, two rebounds and eight assists) played his best game of the season.

DC Medal: 3 – Scotty Hopson (NZ), 2 – Sek Henry (NZ), 1 – Emmett Naar (IH)

Cairns Taipans (94) defeated Adelaide 36ers (86)

In the other Sunday night game, there was actually a change of ladder positions with Cairns Taipans taking back fourth sport after handing the Adelaide 36ers their second loss of the weekend. After heading into the round with some breathing space, the 36ers find themselves outside the finals spots after the loss to Cairns, as the Taipans bounced back from a couple of losses themselves in Round 11. In this encounter, Cairns was far too strong from the get-go, slamming home 31 points to 17 in the opening term to make it catch-up basketball for the 36ers from that point on. The visiting side ate into the margin over the next three quarters, but could not do enough damage to get back into a winning position, eventually going down 86-94 at the Cairns Convention Centre. D.J. Newbill was impressive for the Taipans, sinking a game-high 26 points, as well as four rebounds and five assists in the win. Cameron Oliver (21 points, 15 rebounds, two steals and five blocks) was absolutely ridiculous off the boards, while Scott Machado might have been misfiring himself with just 9.1 per cent from the field, but was the key playmaker thanks to 13 assists and three steals. Mirko Djeric (15 points, two rebounds and two assists) and Majok Deng (13 points, four rebounds and three assists) were also impressive as starters, while Fabijan Krslovic looked solid off the bench picking up seven points and five rebounds in the win. For the 36ers, Randle helped himself to another 19 points, five rebounds and seven assists, while Johnson was again strong with 15 points, eight rebounds and three assists. Griffin picked up a double-double coming off the bench with 11 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks, while Obiri Kyei (15 points, six rebounds) and McVeigh (10 points, two rebounds) reached double-figure points.

DC Medal: 3 – Cameron Oliver (CT), 2 – D.J. Newbill (CT), 1 – Daniel Johnson (AD)

Sydney Kings (110) defeated South East Melbourne Phoenix (98)

Ladder leaders Sydney Kings bounced back from a disappointing defeat to Brisbane earlier in the round to maintain a strong season record at home with a 12-point victory over the struggling South East Melbourne Phoenix. The Phoenix sit sixth on the ladder and have been inconsistent over the past month and a half after a promising start to the season. Sydney led by two points at quarter time, but blew the game apart in the second term with a 30-20 quarter. They then extended it out to 17 points by the final break, and while the Phoenix managed to salvage something in the last quarter to cut the final margin to 12, they still went down, 98-110. Kickert was a surprise top scorer for the Kings, sinking 18 points with 70 per cent efficiency from the field. Brad Newley (16 points, three rebounds and three assists) and Tate (14 points, seven assists and two rebounds) were the only two starters to reach double figures as the bench did most of the heavy lifting thanks to Kickert, Deshon Taylor (15 points) and Shaun Bruce (12 points, five assists and two rebounds). Cooks also had nine rebounds to accompany his nine points, three assists and three blocks. For the Phoenix, Kyle Adnam played his best game with 24 points and five assists off the bench, teaming well with Roberson (25 points, five assists). Creek had a quieter outing with just 16 points, but produced 12 rebounds, two assists and three steals, while Madgen also recorded 16 points, as well as seven rebounds and two steals.

DC Medal: 3 – Daniel Kickert (SK), 2 – Kyle Adnam (SEM), 1 – John Roberson (SEM)

DC Medal Leaderboard:

27 – Bryce Cotton (PW)
26 – Mitch Creek (SEM)
25 – Lamar Patterson (BB), Shawn Long (MU)
24 –
23 –
22 – Melo Trimble (MU)
21 – Casper Ware (SK)
20 – LaMelo Ball (IH)
19 –
18 –  Jae’Sean Tate (SK), Cameron Oliver (CT),
17 – Scott Machado (CT)
16 –
15 – Jerome Randle (AD), Daniel Johnson (AD), John Roberson (SEM)
14 –
13 – Nick Kay (PW)
12 –
11 – Andrew Bogut (SK), Corey Webster (NZ), Scotty Hopson (NZ)
10 – Eric Griffin (AD)
9 – Terrico White (PW)
8 – AJ Ogilvy (IL), DJ. Newbill (CT)
7 –
6 – Nathan Sobey (BB), Kouat Noi (CT)
5 – Aaron Brooks (IL), Brad Newley (SK), Brandon Ashley (NZ), Sek Henry (NZ),
4 – Chris Goulding (MU), Dario Hunt (PW), Ben Madgen (SEM), Mitch McCarron (MU)
3 –Dane Pineau (SEM), Didi Louzada (SK), Anthony Drmic (AD), Glen Rice Jr (NZ), Finn Delany (NZ), Sunday Dech (IH),  Will Magnay (BB), Daniel Kickert (SK)
2 – Matt Hodgson (BB), Jason Cadee (BB), David Barlow (MU), Tim Coenraad (IH), Tom Abercrombie (NZ), Emmett Naar (IH), Kyle Adnam (SEM)
1 – Majok Deng (CT), Craig Moller (SK), Jesse Wagstaff (PW), Todd Blanchfield (IH), Keith Benson (SEM), Tohi Smith-Milner (MU), RJ Hampton (NZ), Angus Glover (IH)

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 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.