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Dean Vickerman sure United can bounce back in semi-finals

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29th February, 2020
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Melbourne suffered a shattering loss in their NBL semi-final series opener to Sydney, but coach Dean Vickerman is adamant it won’t be tough to lift his side.

Melbourne United coach Dean Vickerman insists it won’t be tough to lift his players and they will actually take some confidence out of their dramatic six-point loss to Sydney, in the opening game of their NBL semi-final series.

United somehow blew a 16-point lead with under seven minutes to go in Saturday’s match at Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena.

They led for most of the game but were outscored 24-2 down the stretch.

United have less than 48 hours to regroup for a home match they must win to stay in the finals.

Vickerman was adamant that wouldn’t be a challenge despite the deflating nature of the defeat, Melbourne’s fourth in a row to the minor premiership-winning Kings.

“It’s not tough at all, that’s the thing,” Vickerman said.

“We felt like we should have won it, so that’s the positive.

“The last three games we played them we haven’t been in that position to go beat them.

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“We came in ready to play and nearly got a win on the road, which is tough to do in any semi-final series.

“We go home with a lot of confidence about our game plan.

“There’s some people on our team tha will shoot the basketball a lot better than they did tonight.”

Vickerman didn’t mention names, but only Melo Trimble (34 points) and Shawn Long (23) scored more than eight for Melbourne.

Captain Chris Goulding made only three of 12 field goal attempts and several of his teammates also struggled to impact the scoreboard.

Vickerman pointed out Melbourne had kept Sydney to their lowest score in their five games this season, and 20 points below what the Kings had averaged against them going into Saturday’s clash.

“We fix the last five minutes, let’s go home get ready for this one and turn this into a three-game series,” Vickerman said.

Former Melbourne star Casper Ware was held to just seven points on Saturday and Vickerman praised Shea Ili for limiting the star guard’s ability to catch the ball and get clean three-point looks.

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