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Melbourne blow by Sydney to win Loggins-Bruton Cup

Melbourne United have taken a Sunday stroll to sweep the Sydney Kings and snatch the 2015 Loggins-Bruton Cup from the Cairns Taipans with a 92-56 smashing on Sunday afternoon. United (17.5 Blitz points) pipped the Taipans (17), needing all seven points to claim the outright tournament victory, and came up with the goods against a lacklustre Kings side minus star Josh Childress. Back-up centre Majok Majok got the nod to start for coach Dean Demopoulos and dominated the afternoon with a pre-season performance for the ages, racking up 19 points and 21 rebounds. Majok was helped by scoring staples Stephen Holt (22 points) and Chris Goulding (16). Last season's criticism of United was offensive stagnation, but impeccable ball movement has ensured minimal breakdowns this pre-season. While Melbourne were moving both the ball and players to perfection in the halfcourt, the Kings looked well out of sorts, with the ball seldom covering both sides of the court on the way to just eight assists on the afternoon. Sydney's only sources of offence were import guard Marcus Thornton (18 points on 21 shots) and Rookie of the Year Angus Brandt with 13 points on 100 per cent shooting, and six boards. This first Blitz sweep looked on the cards early as United found the touch from the get-go through Goulding and Holt jumpers. A Goulding three beat the quarter-time buzzer and the 14-point margin grew to 21 three minutes later with Demopoulos running a super-young lineup featuring Majok, Kyle Adnam, Chris Patton, Todd Blanchfield and Emmanuel Golong. Meanwhile Kings point guard Steve Markovic's impact (three points, one assist, three turnovers) was being mitigated as Thornton scored eight of his side's 13 points on the term. The frustrations of Rhys Carter, who picked up a back-chat technical foul, exemplified the third quarter as Sydney finally found some offence but could not slow down the Melbourne perimeter juggernaut anchored by 22-year-old strongman Majok. While Sydney registered 19 points in the third term, they capitulated in the 11-point fourth quarter, failing to penetrate the lane or move the ball from side to side. Their only fourth-quarter contributions came through Thornton and Julian Khazzouh who worked tirelessly on the glass (13 rebounds) but managed just four points on the game. United played their bit-part players all through the quarter but still upstaged the Kings in the 16-11 term. Melbourne Coach Dean Demopoulos was excited by the improvement he has seen in Majok over the course of the pre-season, saying Sunday's minutes were a good reward for the effort he has put in. "He's been progressing little by little and gaining experience," he said. "He works every day, he's a consistent worker and has a great attitude. Little steps at a time, today was a bigger step for him, so I'm really happy for him." United (17.5 Blitz points) and Cairns (17) were the only clubs to win all three games over the week. Melbourne fought through two tough games, taking down Illawarra 106-99 in a Thursday night shootout followed by an 89-85 win over Adelaide on Saturday, and established themselves as a competition powerhouse with the 36-point smashing of Sydney.   MELBOURNE UNITED 92 (Holt 22, Majok 19, Goulding 16) SYDNEY KINGS 56 (Thornton 18, Brandt 13, Garlepp 6) Box Score Final Loggins-Bruton Cup standings below..

Team

Games Played

Wins

Losses

Quarters Won

Points For

Points Against

Difference

Total Points

Melbourne

3

3

0

8.5

287

240

47

17.5

Cairns

3

3

0

8.0

255

228

27

17.0

Perth

3

2

1

7.0

231

195

36

13.0

Illawarra

3

2

1

6.5

263

249

14

12.5

New Zealand

3

1

2

5.5

259

266

-7

8.5

Adelaide

3

1

2

4.5

250

259

-9

7.5

Sydney

3

0

3

4.5

213

265

-52

4.5

Townsville

3

0

3

3.5

189

245

-56

3.5

 
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