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12 March, 2021

Sluggish and missing opportunities

WEEK 3 of the NBL cup saw the Taipans desperate to gain some of the momentum in what has been a difficult season so far.

By Sam McLean

Week 3 of the NBL cup saw the Taipans desperate to gain some of the momentum in what has been a difficult season so far.  The first of two games were against the Sydney Kings on a Thursday afternoon at the State Basketball Centre in Melbourne. 

The Kings started fast with Rookie of the Year contender Dejan Vasiljevic scoring a game high 32 points and ever reliable import Casper Ware (28 points) getting the Kings off to a flying start.  The Kings however struggled to maintain the pressure which saw them go into the first change 2 points ahead.

It was all the Taipans from there with North Queensland’s own Nate Jawai staring, scoring 22 points and gathering 6 rebounds.  The former Australian Boomer and Bamaga product had his best game of the season so far which allowed our own reliable import Scott Machado the freedom to move scoring 22 points and 5 assists.   They were both supported by Fabijan Krslovic who has stepped up to fill the void left by Majok Dengs’ injury scoring 15 points and 10 rebounds. 

Post-game Mike Kelly was full of praise for Jawai, “Nate was clutch for us” Kelly said, “he was really big, and we wouldn’t have won the game without his great contribution”. 

The second game of the weekend saw us take on the Adelaide 36ers back at John Cain arena.  The Taipans were looking to use the momentum of the last game as well as the absence of Adelaide’s big man, Isaac Humphries due to injury.

Fabajian Krslovic again stood up for the Taipans scoring 12 points and 5 rebounds and it was good to see glimpses of Mojave King who scored 11 points including 3 back-to-back 3 pointers. 

The game was hard fought with only being a couple of points in it at every change.  Daniel Johnson for the 36ers starred however piling on 7 quick points in the last and scoring a game high 30 points seeing Adelaide run out eventual winners by 10 points.

Post-game Mike Kelly said, “we were sluggish on offence and missed some open looks”.

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