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Melbourne United v Adelaide 36ers Game Report

Silky smooth Melbourne guard Ramone Moore showed he is one of the league's best scorers when given the chance as United came away with a chippy 100-97 win over the Adelaide 36ers in Sunday's final Australian Basketball Challenge game. Moore wiped all comers right off the court with clinical dribble moves and a jumpshot of pure silk in a clinical 20-point (9/11 shooting) first half. Following United's first game against Tianjin Ronggang we floated the comparison to former NBL superstar Darnell Mee, and Moore now has us entirely convinced he is some kind of reincarnation. Moore (23 points, eight rebounds) got the ball rolling while fellow United recruit Tai Wesley (19 points and six boards) sealed the deal with rarely-seen late-game bully ball. The Sixers were championed by star wing Mitch Creek (28 points and eight rebounds) and Daniel Johnson (22 and five), while 18-year-old prodigy Terrance Ferguson finally arrived after failing to deliver in pre-season showings to this point. Moore went toe-to-toe with Creek (12-point, six-rebound first half) over the first 20 minutes, while Johnson balanced the floor with a presence down low and Jerome Randle – who has been very quiet thus far in the pre-season – found teammates. Slight rookie Majok Deng took it right up to Devin Williams in the first quarter, meeting the man-mountain at the summit and thwarting his two-hand jam. Williams immediately went back for revenge in a fun personal battle, but got hacked. That battle of the bigs served as a precursor to the constant theme of niggle that had Randle and coach Joey Wright eventually T'd up when the game got toward the pointy end. Moore passed the baton to Blanchfield and Wesley, who combined for 25 second-half points while in promising signs for Sixers fans, Creek showed great leadership to shoulder the final-quarter burden and get his side back in the game. But most pleasing for the club is Ferguson's breakout 17-point performance. The fresh import did go down with a left knee injury after stepping off the court foundation in a final-minute scramble, but he later confirmed there was no issue; merely a shock. The game may have gone down to the wire, but Melbourne took six competition points to put themselves in prime position to win the tournament, while Adelaide only managed one. MELBOURNE UNITED 100 (Ramone Moore 25, Tai Wesley 19, Devin Williams 13, Todd Blanchfield 13) ADELAIDE 36ERS 97 (Mitch Creek 28, Daniel Johnson 22, Terrance Ferguson 17) BOX SCORE
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