26 February, 2021
Taipans' NBL Cup Campaign
AFTER a slight delay the Taipans kicked off their NBL cup campaign against the Illawarra Hawks.
AFTER a slight delay the Taipans kicked off their NBL cup campaign against the Illawarra Hawks. In a close first half the Hawks went into the long break with a 5 point advantage. The lead then blew out to 12 points half way through the third quarter before Scott Machado for the Taipans showed his MVP credentials taking control of the game scoring 31 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists.
It wasn’t a one man show for the Taipans though with Jordan Ngatai taking the opportunity of more game time scoring a career high 17 points, Cam Oliver also contributed well with 13 points and 10 rebounds with Mirko Djeric (16 points) and Majok Deng (13 points) both scoring in double figures.
Tyler Harvey (24 points) and Deng Deng (17 points) did their best for the Hawks but the Taipans were able to shoot 51% from beyond the arc winning the game 101 - 95.
The Taipans second game of the NBL cup saw them take on Melbourne United who were looking to shake off their first loss of the season last week against the Wildcats.
The Taipans started the game strongly closing out the first half with an 8 point lead. Kouat Noi was unstoppable with a game high 27 points and was assisted by Cam Oliver (18 points) and Scott Machado (14 points/9 assists). Majok Deng went down early in the game with injury which didn’t help with rotations but as senior coast mike Kelly said post game, “we’ve got a good group and when someone doesn’t play for a while other people need to step up”.
The Taipans lead at every change going into the last with a 4 point lead but it wasn’t enough with Melbourne United big guns Jock Landale (18 points) and Mitch McCarron (17 points) helping United to a 7 point win.
Mike Kelly said post game, “they kept going and we didn’t” talking about United’s ability to play out the game, “we’ve played three good quarters in a lot of games, there hasn’t been a lot of games we’ve played four good quarters”.
The first weekend of the NBL cup is now complete with the Wildcats the only team to remain undefeated over both games.
The Taipans now sit second last on the ladder with only 3 wins from 10 games.
This weekend they play Perth Wildcats (3rd) and Brisbane Bullets (7th).