Hungry Jack's NBL
Bullets Win as JackJumpers Debut to Sold Out Home Crowd
The local fans turned out in droves to welcome NBL basketball back to the Apple Isle and they wouldn’t have left too disappointed despite the Brisbane Bullets beating the Tasmania JackJumpers 89-79 at the Blitz on Sunday.
Not only did Sunday mark the first proper hit out for the league's newest franchise as the NBL has a team once again in Tasmania for the first time since 1996, but it also marked the first showcase of the redeveloped MyState Bank Arena, the old Derwent Entertainment Centre.
The JackJumpers pulled a sold out crowd of 4500 fans for the occasion on Sunday afternoon as well on the second day of the NBL Blitz leading towards the 2021/22 season proper, and they saw plenty to like from what both the Tasmanian and Bullets teams produced.
In the end, the Bullets blew the game open to start the second half going on an 11-0 run after half-time which started with back-to-back triples from new father Anthony Drmic.
That saw Brisbane turn a one-point half-time advantage into a 12-point lead which turned out to be a game high edge which they were able to capitalise on and turn into a 10-point victory to mark the first game under new coach James Duncan in style.
The sold out crowd wasn’t short on being entertained throughout the contest either highlighted by two huge dunks in the second quarter. The first came courtesy of Brisbane's Tom Digbeu who saw a clear path the hoop on the baseline and threw it down over the top of a retreating Jock Perry.
Just minutes later and the local fans were out of their seats when Josh Adams capitalised on a steal for a stunning breakaway finish with a leaning one-handed tomahawk throwdown shortly before the half-time break.
In the end, the major difference between the teams was the hot shooting of the Bullets on top of their ability to get to the foul line. Brisbane shot 59 per cent from the field for the game including going 11/24 at 45 per cent from deep.
They also went 20/27 from the foul line while the JackJumpers went 40 per cent from the floor and shot 10/35 at 28 per cent from deep. They did attempt 25 extra field goals but had 13 fewer foul shots.
Just nine turnovers to the Bullets' 24 was a plus for the JackJumpers while Brisbane won the battle of the glass with 10 extra rebounds.
The Bullets narrowly missed the playoffs a season ago and despite a new coach on board with James Duncan replacing Andrej Lemanis, the returning core of Nathan Sobey, Jason Cadee, Lamar Patterson, Anthony Drmic, Ty Harrison and Tanner Krebs all look determined coming into #NBL22.
Sobey top-scored on Sunday with 17 points, seven rebounds and four assists fresh off helping Australia make history with the bronze medal in Tokyo while new import Robert Franks impressed with 16 points on 4/5 from beyond the arc.
Drmic added 10 points with 3/4 shooting from deep while Patterson had a strong all-round stat line of nine points, six rebounds, six assists and four steals.
Cadee also had eight points, Tom Digbeu eight and Krebs seven on his homecoming to Tasmania.
There was plenty to be encouraged about for coach Scott Roth with the JackJumpers too with Josh Adams putting up 18 points including going 3/6 from deep and some spectacular plays.
Fellow import Josh Magette added 12 points, five assists and four steals with Mikyle McIntosh contributing 13 points, Jack McVeigh nine, Clint Steindl seven, Jock Perry seven and Sam McDaniel seven.
The JackJumpers are next in action on Tuesday against the Cairns Taipans while the Bullets don't play again until facing the Perth Wildcats on Friday.
HUNGRY JACK'S NBL BLITZ
BRISBANE BULLETS 89 (Sobey 17, Franks 16, Drmic 10)
TASMANIA JACKJUMPERS 79 (Adams 18, McIntosh 13, Magette 12)