Accurate Artacho fires from deep

WITH the National Basketball League (NBL)1 competitions around Australia drawing closer to finals, some players are showcasing what they truly have to offer with the opportunities fading on a weekly basis. That was certainly the case in the clash between the Southern Tigers and the Eastern Mavericks in the NBL1 Central Men’s competition on the weekend.

The two sides went head to head at Morphett Vale Basketball Stadium on Sunday afternoon, with both teams unable to qualify for finals. They occupied the bottom two spots on the ladder, so there are not many games left for season 2022 for these clubs.

On the back of a dominant third quarter, the Mavericks proved too strong for a balanced Tigers side, with the victors controlling the boards and outworking the opposition. It was Eastern’s second win of the season as they look towards building into next season.

Despite the loss, the Tigers were well served by the efforts of Christian Artacho, who delivered one of the most mesmerising shooting displays we have seen all year. Against the Mavericks, Artacho was deadly with ball in hand, particularly when it came to shooting the ball from beyond the arc.

Christian Artacho vs. Mavericks – 39 points, eight rebounds

There was no more damaging player on the offensive end than Artacho, despite his team falling short of getting the win. His 39 points were a game-high, and the defence had an extremely hard time containing him throughout the course of the game.

While he was able to hurt the opposition with a few mid-range shots and a couple of lay-ups, Artacho did his best work from beyond the three-point line. Nine of his 19 attempts from downtown found the bottom of the net, an impressive feat given how closely he was being checked by the opposition defence as the game went on.

He was involved when the Tigers were on top of the opposition early, working hard off the ball to make space for the catch and shoot. When the defenders began to become aware of how damaging he can be, Artacho acted as a decoy on a couple of plays, allowing his teammates to get open inside the paint for an easy score.

Proving he is not a one-trick pony, Artacho also crashed the boards for some big rebounds, trying to help his side any way he can. Two of these came on the offensive end, as he hunted the loose ball relentlessly to try and drag the Tigers back into the game.

While it was a disappointing result from a team perspective, Artacho can hold his head high knowing he was a big reason why the scorecard was not even worse.

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