The Roar
The Roar


Kings' three-peat hopes over after Breakers loss but coach has no regrets, Tassie advance after hammering Hawks

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28th February, 2024

Mahmoud Abdelfattah says he would not have changed anything about his first season coaching in the NBL despite his Sydney Kings crashing out of the finals with a loss to the New Zealand Breakers.

The Kings had been favoured to defeat the injury-hit Breakers at home in Wednesday night’s sudden-death play-in game.

But after a solid start, sloppy ball-handling and an inability to neutralise Parker Jackson-Cartwright proved costly for the Kings.

The Kings produced 19 turnovers and the star American scored a season-high 34 points.

The circumstances of the 83-76 defeat were perhaps a fitting end to Sydney’s season, which started with promise but struggled thereafter.

The Kings began the season with a 7-3 record that hoisted them to second on the ladder before winning only six of their remaining 19 games.

“At the end of the day, we started the season off well and we just hit the wall. We just couldn’t break through,” Abdelfattah said.


An inability to maintain intensity for four quarters and the second-worst defence in the league, only marginally better than last-placed South East Melbourne’s, both meant the Kings never looked a serious chance to claim a third consecutive title from January onwards.

But former Houston Rockets assistant Abdelfattah, brought in to replace the outgoing Chase Buford, said he was not the type for regrets.

“I’ll go back and look (at the season). I’m not one that I would change anything,” he said.

“‘If we did this we would have won’; I’m not that kind of guy. I’ll go back and watch and evaluate and be better for next year. I truly have to go back and see.”

Abdelfattah, who has one year remaining on his contract, believed he was “100 per cent” the man to take the Kings forward and did not foresee major roster changes if given that chance.

The Kings had already begun planning for next season before the loss to the Breakers, according to Abdelfattah.


“We have to go back and reflect and look at everything, from what I was doing, the coaching staff, the players, just where we can be better,” he said.

“I think we’ve got a great group of guys off the court. Could you adjust? Yeah of course. When you lose games, everyone feels that you need to make some changes.

“But I like the group that we have.

“We’ll sit back and evaluate over the next couple of weeks.”

More to come, JackJumpers coach hails big man Magnay

Tasmania JackJumpers coach Scott Roth believes big man Will Magnay has further heights to reach, in an ominous message for their NBL rivals. 


Magnay, who has been hampered by injury in recent years, starred in Tasmania’s 92-76 seeding qualifier finals win over the Illawarra Hawks on Wednesday night. 

They’ll next face the Perth Wildcats in a best-of-three play-off starting on March 8, with the winner to progress to the best-of-five championship series. 

Magnay played 30 minutes against Illawarra, picking up 25 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks, after a shoulder injury in the opening play forced centre Marcus Lee off the court.  

Magnay played one NBA game with New Orleans before returning to the NBL with the Perth Wildcats to complete the 2020/21 season.

Roth put a lid on talk of the 25-year-old getting a second crack at the American league, but indicated there was still more to come. 

“He’s not back yet. It’s a continuous process for him,” Roth said.


“His presence around the rim is undeniable, his ability to roll is undeniable. But just right now it is one step at a time. 

“These things (NBA and other honours) take care of themselves. You can’t get too far down the road.” 

Magnay said it was the best he had felt physically in a long time, crediting the JackJumpers’ medical and support staff. 

“Their message to me is ‘you’re not back and you’ve got to keep working’,” he said. “I relish in the moments of everyday practice, people getting around me, a lot of people telling me they’re proud of me.

“That sort of stuff means more than being able to run around and dunk the ball. It has been tough and there have been highs and lows but the support I’ve had from this club and every person in that locker room … has been unwavering and amazing.”

Roth was optimistic Lee would be fit for Perth, with the starter likely suffering a pinched nerve.  The Hawks have a second bite of the cherry with an elimination play-in finals game against the New Zealand Breakers on Monday.