ROUND 9 of the National Basketball League (NBL) took place over the weekend, with some big scores coming as some of the competition’s big guns hit top form.
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.
Tassie’s main man fired for the second week in a row, as Doyle stepped up in the JackJumpers’ 15-point triumph over the Bullets. With the game on the line in the final term, the import guard and his side fired to break away from the Bullets with a dominant eight-minute patch to put the result to bed. Doyle finished with a game-high 33 points on an efficient shooting percentage, making over half of his attempts from the field. He also posted nine boards and three dimes, announcing himself as a sneaky contender for the MVP award, especially if Tasmania can continue its resurgence. Doyle has proven himself as a three-level scorer, and requires tight checking from a defensive standpoint.
After some fluctuating form over the past few weeks, star import guard Walton Jr. looked back to his best in Sydney’s 19-point win over the 36ers on the weekend. When at his best, he has shown the capability to be one of the competition’s best floor generals and give his entire side a lift with his decision-making and execution. While that has not all been there in the past couple of rounds, Walton Jr. was truly impactful against Adelaide, finishing the match with a hefty double-double of 16 points and 11 assists, one of three Kings players to finish in double-digits in the points column.
The former Breaker lit it up against his former side on the weekend, producing his best performance as a Wildcat as Perth claimed a gritty road win. There was plenty of anticipation surrounding his arrival out West, and the 34-year-old finally put it together with a 26-point performance in Round 9. The third quarter proved to be the standout, with the veteran scoring 16 points of his own in that time and getting the Wildcats into a winning position along with Brady Manek. In what has been an underwhelming start to the season for Perth, Webster’s role looms as crucial as the Wildcats look to return to the finals come fixture’s end.