NBL Championship Series | How it was won – Game Five

THE Tasmania JackJumpers claimed the 2023/24 National Basketball League (NBL) Championship, defeating Melbourne United 3-2 in the Championship Series.

Proceedings went to five matches in one of the most entertaining finals series in recent memory, as the JackJumpers snagged their maiden title with a two-point road win on Sunday afternoon, capping off a batch of games that will go down in history.

The JackJumpers had the chance to win the championship on Thursday, leading 2-1 and hosting United at MyState Bank Arena in game four, but Melbourne was too strong down the stretch, and forced a decider.

Despite trailing by as much as nine points in the fourth quarter, the JackJumpers erased the deficit in just two minutes, and held on for a mesmerising two-point win to make history.

In this article, Rookie Me Central will be taking a look at the key factors that shaped the result of the match.


Within minutes, it was evident the JackJumpers came into the contest with a plan to get Melbourne’s star players in foul trouble early. The first possession of the game from Tasmania saw Will Magnay barrel into Jo Lual-Acuil and draw contact. As a result of this tactic, Lual-Acuil was restricted to just 21 minutes of court time, while star shooter Chris Goulding had four fouls for the match too and was on the bench throughout some crucial parts of the match.

Given the referees had been hot on contact throughout the first four games, the JackJumpers acknowledged that they could take away two of Melbourne’s most dangerous pieces by showing plenty of aggression on the drive.


Melbourne stormed out of the gates in the first quarter, jumping out to a 10-point lead in the opening minutes and Tasmania’s offence had no answer. The typically reliable duo of Jack McVeigh and Milton Doyle were being closely checked, and the scores were few and far between. However, a hero came in the form of Jordan Crawford, who overcame the shooting struggles that held him back throughout the postseason.

He exploded in the first quarter, pouring in 19 points including a remarkable four-point play to help inject some life into the JackJumpers. When half-time had rolled around, he had 27 points to his name, helping Tasmania tie up proceedings at the main change. Although he slowed down in the second half, he still hit some big shots down the stretch and finished the game with 32 points.


Sporting fans around Australia will remember the remarkable conclusion to game three of the 2024 Championship Series, with McVeigh knocking down a half-court game-winner to give Tasmania a 2-1 series lead. Melbourne fought back in game four to keep its season alive in dramatic fashion, and looked in control for much of Sunday’s contest. Although the JackJumpers showed resilience to take the lead, another miracle shot almost shook the basketball world.

Tasmania was inbounding the ball with just seconds remaining on the clock, in the box seat to catch the ball and knock down at least one free throw given it was up by two points. However, Goulding intercepted the pass, and dished it to a barnstorming Matthew Dellavedova just before mid-court. Given United had no timeouts, the only option was to take a half-court heave at full pace, and for a second, it looked like it could have gone in. However, the shot missed, and the JackJumpers held on for a win.

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