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GAME REPORT

CJ's Sixers Stay Unbeaten and Claim Loggins-Bruton Cup

Life under CJ Bruton continues to be perfect for the Adelaide 36ers as they finished the NBL Blitz undefeated and claimed the Loggins-Bruton Cup in the process with Sunday's 72-67 win over the Brisbane Bullets.

The 36ers and Bullets came into Sunday's clash at Hobart's MyState Bank Arena knowing that not only were their undefeated records at the NBL Blitz on the line, but the Loggins-Bruton Cup as pre-season champions was up for grabs too.

It was only fitting it was these two clubs fighting over the crown given Cal Bruton's son CJ is now coaching the 36ers while having had a storied history as part of his life in the NBL at the Bullets where Leroy Loggins built his legendary status as well.

So it all went on the line on Sunday afternoon even if neither team hit the floor at full strength just five days out from their opening games of the #NBL22 season.

Brisbane came into the clash minus Anthony Drmic, Lamar Patterson, Nathan Sobey, Tyrell Harrison, Robert Franks and Isaiah Moss with Adelaide also not suiting up Friday's match winner Dusty Hannahs along with Isaac Humphries, Manny Malou, Kai Sotto and Cam Bairstow.

That didn’t take away from the competitive nature of those out on the floor, though, and it was Brisbane who shot out of the blocks quickly with the first five points before leading 14-3, and then still 17-10 by the end of the opening period.

However, Adelaide worked their way back into the contest and led by a point at half-time before Brisbane again assumed a narrow edge being up two at three quarter-time.

It was a game that felt destined to go down to the wire and ultimately it was a massive three ball from 36ers import Todd Withers that gave Adelaide a three-point edge down the stretch.

The story was there to be written for Tasmanian local Tanner Krebs to tie scores up for Brisbane when he attempted a three on the Bullets' last possession. It wouldn’t fall, though, and new Sixers captain Mitch McCarron iced the deal at the foul line and Adelaide won by five.

It means that CJ Bruton's new-look 36ers finish the NBL Blitz with five wins from five games and win the Loggins-Bruton Cup for what is their fourth pre-season crown in club history.

It was no surprise that six-time club MVP Daniel Johnson led the scoring again for the 36ers with 16 points and seven rebounds while new import Todd Withers added 13 points and four boards. His one three-point make was ultimately the most important of the game.

Development player Nick Marshall impressed with 10 points and 12 rebounds while Mitch McCarron had nine points, eight rebounds, eight assists and five steals in a brilliant all-round captain's performance.

Tanner Krebs is enjoying his time back home in Tasmania and top-scored for the Bullets with 15 points and seven rebounds while knocking down 3/6 from three-point range.

Jason Cadee put up 12 points and three assists as well for Brisbane with Tom Digbeu finishing with nine points and five rebounds, and Tamuri Wigness seven points and three boards.

Both teams now turn their attention to the NBL season proper with the Bullets in the first game of #NBL22 on Friday night against the Tasmania JackJumpers while the 36ers head to Perth to take on the Wildcats at RAC Arena later that same evening.

HUNGRY JACK'S NBL BLITZ

ADELAIDE 36ERS 72 (Johnson 16, Withers 13, Marshall 10)

BRISBANE BULLETS 67 (Krebs 15, Cadee 12, Digbeu 9) 

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