NBL Standouts – Round 8

THE EIGHTH round of the NBL has almost wrapped up, with some big scores coming to the fray as the offence of many sides clicked across the weekend’s five games.

As is the case with any week, there were a fair few eye-catching performances from an individual perspective, as some of the competition’s biggest and best stars fired in a round that was full of rivalry matchups and tense finishes.

With that in mind, Rookie Me Central will be highlighting three players that stood above the rest, in a weekend that had a number of strong and impactful outings.

Jarell BrantleyNew Zealand Breakers

It was just about the perfect weekend for the Breakers and one of their big name imports was at the forefront. Brantley was the top scorer in both of his side’s big wins, recording 20+ points in two games, which was the most of any player over the weekend. The forward kicked off the weekend with 20 points and seven rebounds on 9/18 shooting as New Zealand took down fellow improvers Cairns on the road. Brantley then took it to the next level as the Breakers stamped their championship credentials with a thumping 37-point win over the Bullets. With Izayah Le’afa taking control in the first half, Brantley was consistent across all four quarters, dominating an undermanned Brisbane side to finish with a statline of 29 points (13/19 FG), eight rebounds, five assists, one steal and one block and round out his best weekend in Breakers colours.

Jarrell Brantley in action against the Bullets | Photo: Photosport.co.nz

Milton DoyleTasmania JackJumpers

Saturday night’s clash between the JackJumpers and United looked to belong to Melbourne superstar Chris Goulding, who fired in the opening term with 13 points as his side jumped out to an early lead. However, Doyle played a key role in Tasmania keeping in the match in the first three quarters, before taking over in the final term to put his side on his back and lead the JackJumpers to a crucial victory. While his 23-point (9/17 FG), three-rebound, two-assist statline may not have been the flashiest, his two buckets in the final quarter to tie things up and then subsequently give Tassie the lead were immensely important in the context of the match. It was the most impactful performance of his NBL campaign to date, and got the JackJumpers over the line in the end.

Milton Doyle won the match for the JackJumpers off his own hand. | Photo: Linda Higginson/AAP Photos

Mitch CreekSEM Phoenix

It was already a big weekend for Creek, who celebrated his 300th game against the Hawks in style with a thumping win at John Cain Arena. The Phoenix’s resurgence continued on Sunday afternoon, as Creek led his side to a 34-point triumph over Illawarra, and Creek was well and truly at the forefront of the action. He finished game 300 with a game-high total of 27 points (9/13 FG), six rebounds, three assists and a steal. While he is not the flashiest player in the NBL – which often sees the veteran go under the radar – Creek has been one of the most consistent scorers of the modern era, and his output on Sunday was a reflection of how good he has been.

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