Massive Moments: Phoenix star’s ridiculous jam
THE second round of the National Basketball League (NBL) had some of the most memorable action the competition has seen in quite some time. There were game-winners, big dunks and quite a bit of tension amongst the matches. In one of the most anticipated clashes of the round, the SEM Phoenix were able to take down the reigning champions in Melbourne United, in what was a heated 13th Throwdown between the sides. There was plenty for fans to love in this clash, but there was one moment in particular that will stick around in the memory of viewers for months to come.
Monster Creek slam sets off fireworks
There was no doubt this moment would make an appearance in this article, with the incident making headlines not only on our shores, hut across the world. It all began when the Phoenix were able to force a turnover at half-court, with Mitch Creek and Izayah Le’afa on the right end of a two-on-one fast break, with the one United player being Matthew Dellavedova. The two Phoenix players were able to work it out and give Creek a run at the basket. He did exactly this, and although Dellavedova made a commendable effort to jump and contest the shot, it only made things worse with Creek rising and throwing down one of the most vicious posterising dunks the league has ever seen. Dellavedova ended up on the ground with the crowd and commentators in absolute disbelief of what they had just witnessed.
Understandably, Creek was quite fired up after his efforts, which also came in a crucial time in the match. However, United big man Mason Peatling took exception to both the dunk and the celebration, flooring Creek with a hip-and-shoulder which sparked an all-in scuffle between the sides. The melee rolled across the baseline with players from both sides looking to defend their teammates. From the incident, Peatling was ejected from the match, and Creek and Le’afa both copped technical fouls for their roles.
The coverage of the sequence reached all across the world, and was likely boosted by the international popularity of Dellavedova. However, there were claims it was one of the best dunks the league has ever seen, given the size and severity of the jam. It also adds fuel to Creek’s early MVP candidacy, with the Phoenix star likely gaining even more traction due to the immense coverage this received.
In the end, it was the Phoenix who recovered best from the incident, going on to win the match by eight points as they look to firm their claim as a premiership favourite. The win kept them on top of the ladder with three wins from three matches, while United are still searching for their first win. The reigning champions have been unable to fire to start the season despite the addition of Dellavedova, but will regain the services of Chris Goulding this week, so expect them to bounce back.