NBL 2013/14: Round 5 Wrap

Round 5 of the NBL provided fans with a unique schedule of games with three of the four games played on the Friday night. While top of the table Perth Wildcats had the week off, the seven remaining teams battled for the positions underneath. Let’s take a look at who succeeded this week on their road to championship glory.


Hot Kings blow away Snakes

A hot-shooting Sydney Kings outfit has surged to a resounding 99-86 victory over the Cairns Taipans on Friday night.

Ben Madgen (31 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 11-17 FG) was outstanding in the second half for the home side, scoring 29 points in the back half in an ominous sign after a slow start to the season coming off an injury.

AJ Ogilvy (23 points, 8 rebounds, 10-11 FG) continued his superb start to the year and re-affirmed his standing as the best centre in the league as he complete the one-two punch with Madgen.

The Kings set up the win with a 30-15 first term which saw them shoot at 79% from the field and never looked back, holding off a spirited Cairns fight back in the second and third terms to eventually kick away again on the back of Madgen.

Imports Jesse Sanders (15 points, 3 steals) and Charles Carmouche (11 points) also chipped away at the Snakes’ defence all night to back up their star duo.

For the visitors, Demetri McCamey (16 points, 5 assists) had his best game since arriving in Australia over the off-season, while Matt Burston (14 points, 5 rebounds, 6-6 FG) worked tirelessly all night in a side which struggled to get going at all.

The Snakes again missed Cam Gliddon, with Stephen Weigh (5 points, 2-9 FG) again finding it difficult to regain his shooting touch, while Alex Loughton (9 points, 3-10 FG) also had a night to forget after a promising start to the season.

The Kings shot at 54% from the field while the Snakes shot at 45%, which came off the back of the first quarter and ultimately proved the difference between the sides.

Sydney will host Townsville at the Kingdome next Friday night, while Cairns will embark on a tough road double with trips to Perth and Melbourne on Thursday and Saturday sure to test them.

photo credit: MR FOOJI via photopin cc/5337926952/


Sixers hold off charging Tigers

The Adelaide 36ers have held off a fast-finishing Melbourne side to snatch a thrilling three point victory in Adelaide on Friday night.

The Sixers led by 26 points just a minute before half time after dominating the first half, before Chris Goulding (23 points, 5 assists) scored ten points in quick succession to cut the lead to an even 20 at the half.

The Tigers then came from the clouds, starting the second half on a 20-6 run to get back into the game on the back of some hot shooting from Mark Worthington (28 points, 8 rebounds, 12-20 FG).

The Sixers responded as the teams traded baskets for most of the remainder of the game before Daniel Johnson (19 points, 6 rebounds, 8-10 FG) made it a two possession game with under 40 seconds to play.

But the Tigers responded again through a Mark Worthington three-pointer, before Gary Ervin (21 points, 8 assists) split a pair of foul shots with just one second left, leaving Worthington to attempt a full-court bomb in a last-gasp failed attempt to force overtime.

Earlier, the Sixers used an 11-0 first quarter run to break an early deadlock on the back of Adam Gibson (13 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists), before the home side caught fire from deep in the second term, largely through Ervin, to push the margin out 51-25.

Nate Tomlinson (6 points, 15 assists) set an NBL record for assists in the era since the league changed to the 40-minute game format, while Adam Ballinger (16 points, 7-10 FG) hit a number of big shots to keep his side in it throughout the match.

The Tigers will travel back home to face a struggling Wollongong Hawks at the Cage on Sunday to complete their weekend, while Adelaide will head to New Zealand to take on the similarly struggling Breakers on Friday night.


Conklin blows up as Crocs control Breakers

American import Brian Conklin led his Townsville Crocodiles to victory over the struggling New Zealand Breakers 91-78 at the Swamp on Friday night.

Conklin proved unstoppable during the forty minute display piling on 33 points on 14-19 shooting and coming up big for his team during moments when it seemed the Breakers were going to pinch a win.

The teams engaged in what was a physical encounter, with the referees having to call a monstrous 50 fouls; a record inside the Swamp.

The Crocodiles managed to gain the early edge thanks to the home crowd and jumped out to as much as a 16-point first half lead, before Gary Wilkinson (19 points, 7 rebounds) and the Breakers stormed back in an intense third quarter to pull the margin back to as little as three later in the game.

Conklin wasn’t alone setting up the Crocs for victory, as he was helped by Josh Pace (21 points, 8 rebounds) and Steven Markovic (12 points, 2/2 from deep) in the final quarter to seal the well deserved win.

For the Breakers, Wilkinson and Alex Pledger (12 points, 12 rebounds) were the leaders of what was looking like a winning comeback combination; however it fell short at the final hurdle. Mika Vukona (4 points, 5 rebounds) once again fouled out of the game, which was unsurprising given the amount of fouls called.

The home crowd was pleased to see the return of Peter Crawford in a Townsville uniform as he suited up for the first time this season, notching five minutes for no score on the stat-sheet.

Although New Zealand managed 14 more field goal attempts than their opponent, along with a +10 offensive rebounding advantage, it was their efficiency that let the game slip away, shooting only 39% compared to Townsville’s hot 50% from the floor.

The Breakers, now 2-5, head home to take on the Adelaide 36ers in what looks to be quite a tough task, while the fifth place Crocs find themselves in a match-up with the Sydney Kings.


Tigers take care of Hawks despite sub-par performance

The Melbourne Tigers defeated the Wollongong Hawks 81-76 on their home court, registering their third victory of the campaign on Sunday.

While Melbourne were able to get the jump on the travelling side, they were unable to continue the early pressure and quickly succumbed to a Wollongong team who had something to prove to the competition after their dismal 40-point loss to league leaders Perth a week earlier.

Chris Goulding (29 points, 12 rebounds) was once again the man to lift the Tigers in what felt like a controlling win despite the final margin, finding his way to the bucket without much trouble, while making tough jumpers down the stretch.

He was helped by the usual suspects in Mark Worthington (20 points, 5 rebounds) and Scott Morison (12 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks) early; however it was Ayinde Ubaka (29 minutes, 10 points, 5 assists) and Owen Odigie (11 minutes, 2 points, 1 steal, 1 block) coach Chris Anstey trusted down the stretch.

Ubaka used his increase in minutes, due to Nate Tomlinson’s suspected food poisoning which saw him limited to 17 minutes, to show his worth to the team after failing to connect with his peers since his return to the NBL.

The Hawks struggled to find the scoreboard early, until Rotnei Clarke (17 points, 4 assists) started to find his range knocking down a couple of triples, including a half time buzzer-beater.

While the game was never out of Wollongong’s reach, it seemed they were always two steps behind the home side before Time Coenraad (14 points, 7 rebounds) and Kevin Tiggs (11 points) added some much needed pressure which forced the Tigers into careless offensive possessions, with Tiggs adding a nifty euro-step move in the third term to score.

This helped lead to a Hawks spark with Clarke’s long range shooting tying the game in the fourth quarter. Goulding then put the game on his shoulders and hit a tough fall away jump shot to put the game out of reach for the visitors.

Melbourne faces off with the Taipans next week, while the Hawks will try to do the unthinkable in knocking off the undefeated Perth Wildcats.


Round 5 Summary

Sydney Kings 99 (Madgen 31, Ogilvy 23, Sanders 15) Cairns Taipans 86 (McCamey 16, Burston 14, Tragardh 14) Attendance: 3,990 @ Sydney Entertainment Centre

Adelaide 36ers 90 (Ervin 21, Johnson 19, Gibson 13) Melbourne Tigers 87 (Worthington 28, Goulding 23, Ballinger 16) Attendance: 4,364 @ Adelaide Arena

Townsville Crocodiles 91 (Conklin 35, Pace 21, Markovic 12) New Zealand Breakers 78 (Wilkinson 19, Corletto 15, Pledger 12) Attendance: 3,170 @ Townsville Entertainment Centre

Melbourne Tigers 81 (Goulding 29, Worthington 20, Morrison 12) Wollongong Hawks 76 (Clarke 17, Coenraad 14, Martin 13) Attendance: 3,088 @ State Netball & Hockey Centre Hot Kings blow away Snakes

A hot-shooting Sydney Kings outfit has surged to a resounding 99-86 victory over the Cairns Taipans on Friday night.

Ben Madgen (31 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 11-17 FG) was outstanding in the second half for the home side, scoring 29 points in the back half in an ominous sign after a slow start to the season coming off an injury.

AJ Ogilvy (23 points, 8 rebounds, 10-11 FG) continued his superb start to the year and re-affirmed his standing as the best centre in the league as he complete the one-two punch with Madgen.

The Kings set up the win with a 30-15 first term which saw them shoot at 79% from the field and never looked back, holding off a spirited Cairns fight back in the second and third terms to eventually kick away again on the back of Madgen.

Imports Jesse Sanders (15 points, 3 steals) and Charles Carmouche (11 points) also chipped away at the Snakes’ defence all night to back up their star duo.

For the visitors, Demetri McCamey (16 points, 5 assists) had his best game since arriving in Australia over the off-season, while Matt Burston (14 points, 5 rebounds, 6-6 FG) worked tirelessly all night in a side which struggled to get going at all.

The Snakes again missed Cam Gliddon, with Stephen Weigh (5 points, 2-9 FG) again finding it difficult to regain his shooting touch, while Alex Loughton (9 points, 3-10 FG) also had a night to forget after a promising start to the season.

The Kings shot at 54% from the field while the Snakes shot at 45%, which came off the back of the first quarter and ultimately proved the difference between the sides.

Sydney will host Townsville at the Kingdome next Friday night, while Cairns will embark on a tough road double with trips to Perth and Melbourne on Thursday and Saturday sure to test them.

Sixers hold off charging Tigers

The Adelaide 36ers have held off a fast-finishing Melbourne side to snatch a thrilling three point victory in Adelaide on Friday night.

The Sixers led by 26 points just a minute before half time after dominating the first half, before Chris Goulding (23 points, 5 assists) scored ten points in quick succession to cut the lead to an even 20 at the half.

The Tigers then came from the clouds, starting the second half on a 20-6 run to get back into the game on the back of some hot shooting from Mark Worthington (28 points, 8 rebounds, 12-20 FG).

The Sixers responded as the teams traded baskets for most of the remainder of the game before Daniel Johnson (19 points, 6 rebounds, 8-10 FG) made it a two possession game with under 40 seconds to play.

But the Tigers responded again through a Mark Worthington three-pointer, before Gary Ervin (21 points, 8 assists) split a pair of foul shots with just one second left, leaving Worthington to attempt a full-court bomb in a last-gasp failed attempt to force overtime.

Earlier, the Sixers used an 11-0 first quarter run to break an early deadlock on the back of Adam Gibson (13 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists), before the home side caught fire from deep in the second term, largely through Ervin, to push the margin out 51-25.

Nate Tomlinson (6 points, 15 assists) set an NBL record for assists in the era since the league changed to the 40-minute game format, while Adam Ballinger (16 points, 7-10 FG) hit a number of big shots to keep his side in it throughout the match.

The Tigers will travel back home to face a struggling Wollongong Hawks at the Cage on Sunday to complete their weekend, while Adelaide will head to New Zealand to take on the similarly struggling Breakers on Friday night.

Conklin blows up as Crocs control Breakers

American import Brian Conklin led his Townsville Crocodiles to victory over the struggling New Zealand Breakers 91-78 at the Swamp on Friday night.

Conklin proved unstoppable during the forty minute display piling on 33 points on 14-19 shooting and coming up big for his team during moments when it seemed the Breakers were going to pinch a win.

The teams engaged in what was a physical encounter, with the referees having to call a monstrous 50 fouls; a record inside the Swamp.

The Crocodiles managed to gain the early edge thanks to the home crowd and jumped out to as much as a 16-point first half lead, before Gary Wilkinson (19 points, 7 rebounds) and the Breakers stormed back in an intense third quarter to pull the margin back to as little as three later in the game.

Conklin wasn’t alone setting up the Crocs for victory, as he was helped by Josh Pace (21 points, 8 rebounds) and Steven Markovic (12 points, 2/2 from deep) in the final quarter to seal the well deserved win.

For the Breakers, Wilkinson and Alex Pledger (12 points, 12 rebounds) were the leaders of what was looking like a winning comeback combination; however it fell short at the final hurdle. Mika Vukona (4 points, 5 rebounds) once again fouled out of the game, which was unsurprising given the amount of fouls called.

The home crowd was pleased to see the return of Peter Crawford in a Townsville uniform as he suited up for the first time this season, notching five minutes for no score on the stat-sheet.

Although New Zealand managed 14 more field goal attempts than their opponent, along with a +10 offensive rebounding advantage, it was their efficiency that let the game slip away, shooting only 39% compared to Townsville’s hot 50% from the floor.

The Breakers, now 2-5, head home to take on the Adelaide 36ers in what looks to be quite a tough task, while the fifth place Crocs find themselves in a match-up with the Sydney Kings.

Tigers take care of Hawks despite sub-par performance

The Melbourne Tigers defeated the Wollongong Hawks 81-76 on their home court, registering their third victory of the campaign on Sunday.

While Melbourne were able to get the jump on the travelling side, they were unable to continue the early pressure and quickly succumbed to a Wollongong team who had something to prove to the competition after their dismal 40-point loss to league leaders Perth a week earlier.

Chris Goulding (29 points, 12 rebounds) was once again the man to lift the Tigers in what felt like a controlling win despite the final margin, finding his way to the bucket without much trouble, while making tough jumpers down the stretch. He was helped by the usual suspects in Mark Worthington (20 points, 5 rebounds) and Scott Morison (12 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks) early; however it was Ayinde Ubaka (29 minutes, 10 points, 5 assists) and Owen Odigie (11 minutes, 2 points, 1 steal, 1 block) coach Chris Anstey trusted down the stretch.

Ubaka used his increase in minutes, due to Nate Tomlinson’s suspected food poisoning which saw him limited to 17 minutes, to show his worth to the team after failing to connect with his peers since his return to the NBL.

The Hawks struggled to find the scoreboard early, until Rotnei Clarke (17 points, 4 assists) started to find his range knocking down a couple of triples, including a half time buzzer-beater.

While the game was never out of Wollongong’s reach, it seemed they were always two steps behind the home side before Time Coenraad (14 points, 7 rebounds) and Kevin Tiggs (11 points) added some much needed pressure which forced the Tigers into careless offensive possessions, with Tiggs adding a nifty euro-step move in the third term to score.

This helped lead to a Hawks spark with Clarke’s long range shooting tying the game in the fourth quarter. Goulding then put the game on his shoulders and hit a tough fall away jump shot to put the game out of reach for the visitors.

Melbourne faces off with the Taipans next week, while the Hawks will try to do the unthinkable in knocking off the undefeated Perth Wildcats.

Round 5 Summary

Sydney Kings 99 (Madgen 31, Ogilvy 23, Sanders 15) Cairns Taipans 86 (McCamey 16, Burston 14, Tragardh 14) Attendance: 3,990 @ Sydney Entertainment Centre

Adelaide 36ers 90 (Ervin 21, Johnson 19, Gibson 13) Melbourne Tigers 87 (Worthington 28, Goulding 23, Ballinger 16) Attendance: 4,364 @ Adelaide Arena

Townsville Crocodiles 91 (Conklin 35, Pace 21, Markovic 12) New Zealand Breakers 78 (Wilkinson 19, Corletto 15, Pledger 12) Attendance: 3,170 @ Townsville Entertainment Centre

Melbourne Tigers 81 (Goulding 29, Worthington 20, Morrison 12) Wollongong Hawks 76 (Clarke 17, Coenraad 14, Martin 13) Attendance: 3,088 @ State Netball & Hockey Centre