The Roar
The Roar


'Disappointing that it was called': Controversial late Delly foul leaves Melbourne fuming

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22nd March, 2024

Tasmania JackJumpers coach Scott Roth says it was his team’s composure and defence that led to their come-from-behind game-two victory as they levelled their NBL Championship Series with Melbourne United.

Melbourne had won game one on their home court on Sunday by 23 points and were up 15, having scored the first 11 points of the second half on Friday night at a sold-out MyState Bank Arena in Hobart.

A 2-0 series lead was within Melbourne’s grasp, but the game underwent a dramatic turnaround with the JackJumpers outscoring United 42 to 22 to win 82-77, with the series now level ahead of game three in Melbourne on Sunday.

It was a game full of niggle and spice with Tasmania doing a good job of rattling the cages of the seasoned United veterans, as Shea Ili, Jo Lual-Acuil Jr and Ian Clark all fouled out.

An unsportsmanlike call on Matthew Dellavedova, who fouled Jack McVeigh in the dying seconds, left United coach Dean Vickerman most frustrated.

“Obviously, you feel like that in some ways decides the game, so it has to be pretty severe and we’ll have a look at it even though there’s nothing we can do about it right now,” he said.

“It’s disappointing that it was called.”


But Vickerman admitted Melbourne lost their focus a little as the game went on.

“It was a game where we wanted a lot of reviews and we have to move on from those things quicker,” Vickerman said.

“I thought we got involved in that a little bit too much and we have to make sure we’re ready for the next play. That’s been a little bit of our catch cry all year.

“We’ve focused on getting our huddles right and any communication that you can get in the huddle right now with how loud it is it’s really important.”

Melbourne captain Chris Goulding scored another 19 points with three triples to take his season tally to a record setting 128 since the NBL has had 40-minute games.

But he knows his team has to do better at keeping their focus.


“We’ve just got to be better and it’s on everyone individually to understand what’s happening, and not buy into it or get caught up into it, and not to retaliate and stay locked into us,” he said.

In the last 17 minutes, Tasmania held Melbourne to 22 points on 7-of-28 shooting with five turnovers.

Coach Roth knows they need to keep that going in game three.

“”Our transition defence is still not very good and our rebounding is still not very good, but overall you’ll take away some things that we did well,” he said.

“It was a very good second half for us defensively across the board and that’s how you win championships.”