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MVP Finalists Revealed

Bryce Cotton, Jaylen Adams and Jo Lual-Acuil Jr have been named the three finalists for the NBL’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) award, presented by Hungry Jack’s.

After another stunning campaign with the Perth Wildcats, Cotton will be looking to win his third straight MVP and fourth in the past five years. He could become just the second player in history to win three consecutive MVPs, joining the man the award is named in honour of, Andrew Gaze. Cotton is also leading the league in scoring at 22.4 points per game.

Adams has led the Sydney Kings’ resurgence averaging 20.1 points, 6.1 assists and 5.1 rebounds since his delayed start to the season.

Lual-Acuil has filled the void left by Jock Landale at Melbourne United in tremendous fashion, posting career high averages with 16.8 points and 9.2 rebounds per game.

The winner of The Andrew Gaze MVP Award, along with all other awards for the 2021/22 season, will be announced next Wednesday April 27, live on ESPN. 

Other finalists are:

Lindsay Gaze Coach of the Year
Chase Buford (Sydney Kings)
Dean Vickerman (Melbourne United)
Scott Roth (Tasmania JackJumpers)
 
Most Improved Player
Jo Lual-Acuil Jr (Melbourne United)
Keanu Pinder (Cairns Taipans)
Yanni Wetzell (New Zealand Breakers)
 
Best Sixth Man Presented by Marsh Insurance
Clint Steindl (Tasmania JackJumpers)
Shea Ili (Melbourne United)
Xavier Rathan-Mayes (Illawarra Hawks)
 
Damian Martin Trophy for the Best Defensive Player
Antonius Cleveland (Illawarra Hawks)
Shea Ili (Melbourne United)
Xavier Cooks (Sydney Kings)
 
Rookie of the Year Presented by Champion
Bul Kuol (Cairns Taipans)
Luke Travers (Perth Wildcats)
Ousmane Dieng (New Zealand Breakers)

The All-NBL First Team, All-NBL Second Team, Executive of the Year, Referee of the Year presented by Europcar, Gametime by Kmart Award and Fans’ MVP presented by Chemist Warehouse will also be announced on the night.

A panel of experts selected the nominees for each of the MVP, Rookie of the Year, Best Sixth Man, Best Defensive Player and Most Improved Player. 

The panel included Andrew Gaze, John Casey, Damian Martin, Liam Santamaria, Kane Pitman, Marc Hinton, Matt Logue, Derek Rucker and Anthony Stewart.

Coaches and captains from each of the 10 teams then voted on the nominations with no votes allowed for a player from their own team.

“It has been one of the most memorable NBL seasons in our recent history and we congratulate all of the finalists for maintaining such an incredible standard in what’s been another challenging campaign in so many ways,” Hungry Jack’s NBL Commissioner Jeremy Loeliger said.

“The quality of basketball has gone to another level and that is clearly reflected in the calibre of all our finalists, as well as our unprecedented audience growth and media coverage.

“It would be remiss of me not to highlight the great success of the Tasmania JackJumpers who, in their inaugural season, are on the cusp of a finals berth and have two finalists in our award nominees including Scott Roth for Coach of the Year.

“We look forward to what promises to be a fantastic night and the opportunity to celebrate a great regular season, ahead of one of the most hotly anticipated finals in recent memory.”

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