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Sport

26 March, 2021

Cairns Taipans: Slow start unable to finish

THE NBL and the Taipans were back on the road this week travelling across the country to take on the Perth Wildcats in Perth and the Sydney Kings in Sydney.

By Sam McLean

The NBL and the Taipans were back on the road this week travelling across the country to take on the Perth Wildcats in Perth and the Sydney Kings in Sydney.

The Wildcats position on top of the ladder showed as the Taipans struggled to gain any sort of ascendency throughout the game.  Bryce Cotton last year’s MVP of the competition was unstoppable with a game high 28 points as well as 4 assists.  John Mooney was also big for the Wildcats scoring 21 points.

In contrast, the Taipans stat sheet reflected a poor night.  Kouat Noi scored 14 points, 9 rebounds and Scott Machado 16 points.  Nate Jawai also posted double figures scoring 13 points, but other highlights were hard to come by as the Wildcats ran out winners 93 – 75.

A much more competitive game awaited the Taipans against the Kings.  Having already beaten the Kings twice this year both teams came out fast in a high scoring first term.  The Taipans struggled in the second only posting 16 points, but it was the Kings turn after the main break only posting 12 in the third to set up a exciting final term with only 2 points in it. 

Casper Ware and Jarell Martin both scored 16 points for the Kings and were assisted by Craig Moller who pulled down 8 rebounds. Scott Machado for the Taipans tried his best to lift the team scoring a game high 21 points as well as 9 assists, Fabijan Krslovic, Nate Jawai and Mirko Djeric also contributed scoring 13, 12 and 11 respectively. 

Ultimately it was the Kings who prevailed by 2 points in a close game, 75 – 73.

Post-game senior coach Mike Kelly was heard saying, “I thought the guys effort was great.  Not everything worked but the effort was good, and the guys kept working”. 

The Taipans finally return home to take on the Adelaide 36ers in a very winnable game where local support will help them get over the line.

The Taipans currenlty are sitting last on the ladder in serious risk of finishing off the 2021 season with the Wooden Spoon.

At halfway point for the season with only 4 wins to date. The season is reminisent of their dismal 2019 season.

The next weeks will not be easy for the Taipans, scheduled to play Melbourne United three times in the next fortnight.  


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