Funny QLD ABL
I was up in the Sunshine state the past five days for work and was able to catch a couple of ABL games Cairns vs Brisbane (Friday night) & Southern Districts vs Cairns (Sunday afternoon) Here is a brief summary of what went on in the games:
- Cairns Men won both games and are going to be very tough for any team to beat come national finals time. They have a terrific coach in Mark Beecroft, size and athletacism (and depth in both areas) and they have great stuff on the offensive end (run "shuffle" very effectively, they have "sets" for cutters to run off staggered screens at akward angles - like the 76ers use for AI - and they have some great 'pick and pop' plays for their bigs to step out and show their versatility). They are also very quick and long on defense, especially when reserve guard Deba George gets in the game (the guy who completed in the NBL dunk contest for the Taipans). This guy has phenomenal speed and hops -he put on a show with a collection of reverse and windmill jams pre game/half time.
- Further more re the Marlins size and athletacism, they start four NBL experienced forward/centres; Aaron Grabou, Kane Oakley, Gary Boobnikoff and Tim Behrendorf (geez sounds like a guest list from Octoberfest). These guys are all in terrific shape leading into the forthcoming NBL season and in both games were able to use their strength to "man handle" their opponents in various ways: on the boards, whilst competing for loose balls and also when defending them on picks. In their game against the Spartins, Oakley had 20 & 9, Boobnikoff had 16 & 10 & Grabou 13, 9 & 4.
- The Spartans also had an abundance of size - Tragardh, Egan, Thompson, Anderson, Coonraad & Dowl. They would be bigger then every local CABL team in Adeliade, however, I think our teams are generally quicker in transition and better shooters.
- There were some other NBL experienced players on display over the weekend. Brisbane had Andrew Lattimer (ex Brisbane and Perth) playing, Southern Districs had Ben Thompson (ex Brisbane, West Sydney, Perth and NZ), Daniel Egan (Mebourne, Brisbane) and Cameron Tragardh (Townsville). Egan (27pts) and Tragardh (26pts) were very impressive against Cairns, both showing touch from the perimeter as well as scoring from the block.
- The Spartans have ex - Pioneers swingman, Damien Anderson, lining up for them at the 3 spot. An ideal position for "Moose" to play since the big fella went about hitting 13 "AT & Ts" (long distance connections) in their Saturday night game against the Gold Coast.
- Ex Forrestville and now Marlins PG (and NCT junior) Brenton Campbell struggled a little in the Brisbane game but shot the hell out of the ball in the Southern Districts game. He had 4 x 3pts in the first half (Memo to SDs guards, dont help off the bloke who is hitting them from the car park!) and also controlled tempo and marshalled the Marlins 'O' to perfection. Well done BC!
- Ex Sturt forward and NCT junior Alisha Villa plays very important minutes for the Cairns women. She was the back up '4' for the Dolphins and gives them great interior defence and rebounding as well as a competant interior reciever.
- The ever green Jenny Evans (ex Australian rep and NCT womens player) put on some vintage scoring in both games. She doesnt looked to have aged a day in the last ten years! Jenny pairs with an exciting youngster in Naomi (? I think that's her name) Pedro in the Dolphins frontcourt. Pedro shows great versatility and passing ability for a '4' and has a big future in the game.