Hungry Jack's NBL
Machado Returns with Championship Aspirations
There’s one thing on the mind of returning Cairns Taipans superstar Scott Machado and that’s bringing an NBL championship to Far North Queensland.
Machado has signed a two-year deal with the Taipans and has his sights set on leading Cairns to their first ever title, after they lost to the eventual champion Perth Wildcats in the semi-final last season.
“I just kept pushing that envelope forward (last season) and tried to make sure that as a team we could either win a championship or see how far we could go,” Machado said.
“For me because we did so well last year and we were so close and everybody saw us as under the radar, I felt like it was the best decision to come back to compete to try and win a championship and that’s really my goal before anything else.
“Being able to come in with chips on our shoulders and being ready to work, being receptive to what the coaches want us to do and move forward from there.
“As a group we know what we want to do, we know what we tried to accomplish last year and what we are going to try and accomplish this year.
“I don’t think we should sell ourselves any shorter than that.”
Machado took the NBL by storm last season, averaging 16.6 points, 7.7 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game while making the league’s All-First Team.
After becoming a fan favourite in Cairns, the point guard has revealed the Taipans were the only NBL club on his mind when deciding he was going to return to Australia.
“I knew if I were to come back to Australia, Cairns was where I wanted to come,” Machado said.
“With everything that is happening and everyone going through COVID, it took some time for us to actually finalise it. We got to finalise it recently.”
This is Machado’s first ever two-year contract in his career, and he believes it’s a testament to his character and the culture the Taipans have created.
“It means a lot. I’m a grinder. I’m a fighter. Everywhere I go I have to prove myself and I’m ok with that,” he said.
“I’ve never really been the type to just have stuff given to me and for me the way I was treated last year, I was treated very well.
“To me, I think that is the overall way of a club or of a community. It shows a different type of love and energy and especially the people that are so invested in basketball, it’s amazing.
“For me a two-year deal was something that I was like, well we might as well try and accomplish something bigger.”