‘Silent Assassin’ leads JackJumpers to game three

THE NBL finals are in full swing, with the Tasmania JackJumpers forcing game three in their semi-final series against the New Zealand Breakers with a stirring nine-point victory at MyState Bank Arena on Thursday night.

The JackJumpers were comprehensively beaten by the Breakers in game one of the three-match series, and needed to win on Thursday to keep their season alive. The Hobart-based crowd came alive in a do-or-die clash, and after the visitors took the lead deep into the third quarter, Tasmania produced an excellent final term to take a double-digit lead and force a third encounter on Sunday.

He has been the hero for Tasmania all season long, and Milton Doyle stepped up when it mattered most for the JackJumpers. The All-NBL First Team recipient was at his scoring best once again, proving the difference when the game was there to be won in the final period. No one on the court was better than Doyle at scoring the rock and he continued to prove his value to this team.

Tasmania JackJumpers (89) def. New Zealand Breakers (78)

Milton Doyle – 23 points, three rebounds, five assists, three steals

With Josh Magette missing the finals through injury, Doyle’s role has looked a bit different at times, but his impact remains the same.

His 23 points were the most of any player from either side, justifying his claims as one of the best players in the competition. Not only was his volume of baskets impressive, but the timeliness of some of his makes caught the eye too.

He shot 8/17 from the field, displaying once again that he does not need too many looks to make an impact. On the drive, Doyle has the innate ability to rotate around the contest from the opposition and avoid the attempted block. The guard found plenty of success inside the paint, driving in past the likes of Dererk Pardon and Jarell Brantley to find the bottom of the net.

Doyle signalled his intentions early in the match, draining the first bucket of the match with a nice three-pointer from the top of the arc. The import has shown shooting power over the course of the season, and the team’s offence looks much more dynamic when his eye is on from downtown.

After struggling in the opening game of the semi-final series, he bounced back in a big way, leading a scoring run early in the fourth quarter that essentially won the game for Tasmania. Although more defensive attention may come in the deciding match on Sunday, Doyle’s scoring capabilities may be the definitive factor once again.

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