News

Physical Snakes shut down Kings in slogfest

There is just something about the Cairns Convention Centre. No matter the team and no matter the time of year, the CCC may as well be a haunted house for opposition clubs. Cairns' latest scalp, the table-topping Sydney Kings, came into Round 5 riding high with a five-game win streak but left with their tail between their legs as Cairns won their third straight game, 64-57 on Saturday night. It was a complete team effort for the Taipans, who found good contributions from Mark Worthington (team-high 12 points), Fuquan Edwin (11) and Nathan Jawai (10), while Sydney also had three in double digits: Kevin Lisch with 15, and Jason Cadee and Josh Powell with 11 apiece. Greg Whittington also ripped down 16 rebounds. It was a throwback to the old days of rough and tumble basketball, with big men Jawai, Aleks Maric (fouled out) and Josh Powell jockeying for position every second they were on the floor. "We came out and were really tough defensively, really physical," Taipans coach Aaron Fearne said after the game. "I thought 'Fu' [Edwin] set the tone big time; just getting on the offensive glass and keeping the ball alive at the start of the game. "It was pretty emotional in the building, as it gets with the [Cairns] crowd." We may never see a slower start all season than what these two clubs produced on Saturday – and in Sydney's case, we have not seen a slower start since the first month of the new millennium. Not since the 1999/00 Canberra Cannons has a team come to Cairns and scored 10 points or fewer by quarter time. Mark Worthington's 10-footer at the 6:40 mark signalled first points of the game, while both teams combined for a 1/16 shooting start to the game. The Kings worked their way to a 9-4 lead before Cairns' 8-0 run gave them ascendancy in an arm-wrestle of a first term. In fact, the race to double-digit points took almost nine minutes. Damon Heuir's offensive confidence kept the scoreboard ticking – albeit slowly – for the home side as their momentum continued into the second quarter. The Snakes' answer to Adelaide rising star Nathan Sobey was not shy from deep, while getting to the bucket off the dribble and running precise pick-and-roll with big man Nnanna Egwu. Cairns' 16-1 run ended at the hands of Tom Garlepp, but the former Kings captain would also get his feet involved, kicking Stephen Weigh's shoe – which came off during play – into the corporate boxes. Impressive Kings Whittington and Cadee started to stamp some authority on the game, but every time Sydney looked to make a run the home side would answer. Lisch burst out of the blocks in the third, with a bank shot and NBA-range three-pointer levelling the game at 34-34 in just over a minute, but the game would again stagnate as neither team took a play off defensively and forced jumpshots on almost every possession. By three-quarter time the Snakes were up 46-40, with the lead built on counts of 20-8 points in the paint, plus-8 rebounding and 23-10 bench points. Pre-season three-point champ Cadee connected from distance and Egwu airballed his hook shot early in the final term as Sydney were poised to strike as the gym went quiet, but the Snakes soon got their crowd involved and rode that momentum until the end. Maric fouled out five minutes from time and it set the crowd alight as lock-down defence, pack rebounding and some tough Jawai buckets and thunderous Weeks slam closed it out. It was far from pretty, but there is no denying the league's most influential fanbase got them home. "[The Taipans] were buoyed by [the crowd], and it does have an influence," Kings coach Andrew Gaze said. "We want to take what they have here and get that same advantage at our place, because it works. "It's fantastic, they do a great job of it, and you have got to give them a lot of credit for what they've created and the way 'Fearney' coaches his team." Both clubs hop on a plane in the morning for the second leg of a home-and-away at Qudos bank Arena on Monday.   CAIRNS TAIPANS 64 (Worthington 12, Edwin 11, Jawai 10) SYDNEY KINGS 57 (Lisch 15, Cadee 11, Powell 11) BOX SCORE
NEWS

Taipans Complete Roster with Experienced Point Guard

12 hours ago

NEWS

Perth Add NBL1 Standout as DP

19 hours ago

FEATURE

Gliddon Eyes Return to Best

19 hours ago

NEWS

Report: Makur Maker Signs NBA Deal

1 day ago

NBL23

Analysis: Breakout Candidates

1 day ago

NEWS

Humphries Drawn to United "Prestige"

1 day ago

FREE AGENCY

36ers Add “Extra Edge” to Roster

1 day ago

NEWS

NBL Trading Cards Return With Topps

1 day ago

GAME REPORT

Gaels Overrun Phoenix in OT Thriller

2 days ago

FREE AGENCY

Hawks Welcome Emerging Point Guard

2 days ago

LaMelo Ball Leads Hawks, Taipans Beat Bullets Again

16 September 2019

Fourth Place Frustration for Boomers in China

15 September 2019

FIBA World Cup Bronze Medal Game | Australia v France Preview

15 September 2019

Prather Shines In United's Big Win, Taipans Smash Bullets

14 September 2019

Starting Five: World Cup Heartbreak

14 September 2019

Spain Again Breaks Boomers Hearts in Double OT

13 September 2019

Watch Live | Illawarra Hawks vs Melbourne United

13 September 2019

FIBA World Cup Semi-Final | Australia v Spain Preview

13 September 2019

Starting Five: Boomers Two Wins from Gold

12 September 2019

Australia Advance to World Cup Final Four

12 September 2019

NBL Partners

Naming Rights
Major Partners
Broadcast & Media Partners
Profile Partners
Suppliers
Associates