1. Zeroes to heroes
It’s funny the difference two games can make. The South East Melbourne Phoenix started the round with a last-gasp loss to the Adelaide 36ers in what was a winnable game down the stretch. They led the clash with just over a minute remaining, however back-to-back baskets from Jerome Randle did the job for the 36ers.
Flash forward to Sunday and South East Melbourne pulled out a victory despite trailing the Cairns Taipans by 10 points at one point in the 4th quarter, and being down by six with under a minute remaining. They managed to force it to OT and then flexed their muscle in the extra period.
2. John Roberson is spicy hot
Phoenix really only have one guy to thank for their win against Cairns: John Roberson. The import point guard was ridiculous in the 4th quarter, going on a 14-0 run by himself and scoring 21 minutes in the final six minutes of the game.
It was a key game for South East Melbourne, with the battle for spots in the top four really beginning to heat up. Speaking of heating up, we caught some live footage of John Roberson against the Taipans…
3. "... You just feel like every shot is going to go in."
What it must feel like to shoot the ball like John Roberson did against Cairns. Well, after the game, he tried to explain it.
"I put a lot of work in and it is for these moments when you are depended upon to make shots, the game is tight, it is crunch time... you just feel like every shot is going to go in,” Roberson said.
“I just get in the zone and you feel like everything you throw up is going to go in. The basketball feels huge."
Can only imagine this is how Steph Curry feels all the time.
4. Vintage Gibbo
John Roberson wasn’t the only guy for Phoenix who turned it on against the Taipans. Mitch Creek had 25 points and eight rebounds to continue on what’s been an excellent season. But it was the play of Adam Gibson that really caught the eye.
Prior to the game against Cairns, Gibson had only reached double figures twice in the season. However, he piled on 25 against the Taipans in what was by far the best game with South East Melbourne so far. Gibbo back to his best!
5. More work to be done for Wesley
It appears as though Tai Wesley still has some work to do with his return from injury. The import big man played just under 13 minutes against Adelaide, scoring 11 points before being fouled out. He had 22 minutes against the Taipans, registering eight points and six assists.
He is a crucial guy that will continue to improve each game back. However, Phoenix fans shouldn’t expect him to be playing his best basketball right away.
6. Handle on Randle Pt. II
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again - Jerome Randle is a handful. He basically single-handedly got the job done for the 36ers on Friday night against South East Melbourne.
It’s not the first time he has gotten off the leash against Phoenix and if they want to knock over Adelaide in the future they will have to lock him down.
7. Top team to watch?
It seems Cairns is becoming most people’s favourite team to watch when their own isn’t out on the hardwood. However, maybe Phoenix should be.
Both games they were involved in this weekend had over 200 total points scored and were must-watch fixtures. Get your eyes on South East Melbourne.