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Melbourne United v Cairns game report

Melburne United import Devin Williams turned on a commanding final term against the undersized Cairns Taipans as his new club scored a 85-73 win at the State Basketball Centre on Thursday night. Melbourne led at every break but saw their lead cut to three at half time before pulling clear in second half. Williams, a former West Virginia star, was a bull under the basket in the final term scoring six of his 15 points and grabbing 11 rebounds while throwing down two powerful dunks. Melbourne imports Cedric Jackson and Ramone Moore (nine points) made their club debuts with Jackson looking sharp in limited minutes and Moore offering a cagey presence at both ends and slamming home a fast break dunk. Todd Blanchfield and Dave Barlow both had 13 points while live-wire guard Kyle Adnam continued to find way to get into the key and create scoring chances. Moore said his side was coming together fast and still had Rio Olympians Dave Andersen and Chris Goulding to come into the group. “All of us are working hard to learn the system so it was good to come out here tonight and get a good win,” Moore said. “We’ve been practicing our transition offence a lot and want to get up the court and find the best shot, I’m not surprised we did that well. “We are still missing two pretty important guys too.” With Taipans centre Nate Jawai still recovering from a broken finger and veteran Mark Worthington out, the visitors were undersized from the jump and were further hurt by bigs Alex Loughton (11 points) and Nnanna Egwu battling foul trouble. Taipans guard Cameron Gliddon led his side with 15 points and three assists while Steve Weigh added 14 points and Mitch McCarron had 10 points, seven rebounds and five assists. “This was another game for us to continue to gel but we were not really happy with the effort we put out there and neither was the coaching staff,” Gliddon said. “But the good thing is we have a game in two days and we can rectify things then.” Gliddon added McCarron was showing why he was good enough to play in Spain’s top league last year while fellow newcomes Travis Trice, Jarrad Weeks, Fuquan Edwin and Egwu were finding their places. “Macca has been great for us - he went away to Spain and the Australian public probably forgot about him and he’s come back, he’s really tough,” Gliddon said. “Nnanna has been our surprise win, he was one of our last signings and we didn’t expect too much from him and he has been great. “Missing Nate and Wortho hurt us tonight but that’s not an excuse - we have to be better. “With the amount of work Nate is doing off the court to get back in shape is incredible, I think a lot of people will be blown away when he shows up for the first game and shows what good condition he is in.” Melbourne and Cairns square off again at Ballarat’s Minerdome on Saturday night at 7pm and Gliddon said his side would be much improved. “We start the season with three road games so we need to get used to that,” Gliddon said. “We have a lot of double-headers and we have to get used to backing up, teams who can back up and sneak a win in the second game of a double-header will go a long way this season.” Melbourne United 85 (Devin Williams 15 pts, Todd Blanchfield 13 pts, Dave Barlow 13 pts) d Cairns Taipans 73 (Cameron Gliddon 15 pts, Steve Weigh 14 pts, Alex Loughton 11 pts)
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