After round one, who’s for real in the NBL?
Mixed results in the opening weekend of the IINet NBL Championship have left fans scratching their heads over who is legitimate and who isn’t.
The return of the Sydney Kings set the mood for an exciting weekend. Their first match in over two years turned out to be a training run against the Melbourne Tigers.
The Kings were too quick all over the court and made the Tigers pay for using a much larger line-up. Julian Khazzouh, Parramatta junior who has just come back from a stint in Europe, tore apart the Tigers finishing with 24 points, 17 rebounds and three blocks.
Kings return to the NBL was more than pleasant as they won by 16 points.
In the other Friday night contest, Wollongong continued their success at home beating the Gold Coast in a thriller 83-77. New Hawks import Gary Ervin has proven he is going to be a handful this season finishing with 27 points and three assists. New Blaze recruit, Mark Worthington, didn’t have a happy return to the NBL chiming in with eight points and seven rebounds.
The North Queensland derby was a little one-sided as the Townsville Crocodiles led from the get go, coming out winners 79-70 over the Cairns Taipans. Former Sydney King, Russell Hinder, led the way with 18 points and four rebounds, classic captains knock.
New Taipan’s recruit Alex Loughton, who has also just returned from Europe, showed he has picked up some new tricks finishing with 21 points and seven rebounds.
Fans across Sydney had been waiting for the return of the Kings to the Kingdome for over two years; on the 16th of October 2010, they got it. However not everything went to plan against a very crisp Breakers outfit. 8500 people packed into the Kingdome to applaud their new heroes and their efforts the night before.
The fans rose as one when the Kings got to within one late in the fourth quarter, but former King superstar CJ Bruton and former Georgetown Hoya, Kevin Braswell, hit some big shots to silence the Sydney cry.
It was always going to be difficult for the Kings to back up after a big win the night before down in Melbourne. The scoreboard showed this as the Breakers won 83-70.
The final game of the round which was shown on OneHD was the Adelaide 36ers and the reigning champions the Perth Wildcats. It was a very scrappy contest with the 36ers pulling the first upset of the new season.
It looks as if Adelaide is going to be treated to some high flying action from new import Craig Winder. Winder jumped over Brad Robbins for a huge dunk, putting his hand up for an early dunk of the year vote.
Adelaide went to the lead and never looked back finishing five point victors 74-69.
Looking to join The Roar team? We're searching for an experienced Group Sales Manager to lead our team in Sydney. Yes, this does mean you get to work with the site all day long! If you're a digital media sales star, we want to hear from you. Apply now.