Taipans snap streak by beating Bullets

IT was the game they had to win, and the Cairns Taipans did just that, defeating the Brisbane Bullets on the road by eight points, 102-94. The Taipans won their first game of 2022, having started the season strongly, but fell into a three-game losing streak, forcing coach Adam Forde to question the commitment of his players to the cause. It seemed to spur them on, as they won three of the four quarters in their National Basketball League (NBL) clash at Nissan Arena.

  • Team
  • Brisbane Bullets
  • Cairns Taipans


“I really challenged the guys. There’s a question of character… how badly do we want to win?” Forde said. “That’s what this week has been, that’s what the film review was, I wasn’t happy with how we went about film review.

“We’ve lined everybody up and we are questioning people’s character, so I want to see how they respond. “It’s testing their manhood, it’s testing their state of mind, it’s testing their competitive spirit, it’s testing them to be a professional. “We got to get a little bit more killer or hungriness.”

The comments came following the Taipans’ disappointing loss to Illawarra last Saturday, going down by 19 points, 94-75 after being in the contest at half-time. It backed up losses to South East Melbourne Phoenix, and the New Years Eve loss to Perth Wildcats. The Snakes’ last win came on December 18 when they knocked off Adelaide 36ers by 26 points.


The Taipans certainly stepped up to the plate when the game was on the line this week, winning the first term by five points, but losing the second by the same amount to head into half-time at 53 points apiece. Gaining a slight advantage with a 20-18 third quarter, the visitors stormed home to victory with a 29-23 final stanza to win by eight points, 102-94.

They shot at an accurate 44 per cent from long-range to e the difference, and also took their chances at the line (75 per cent). They had 14 more rebounds than the Bullets (48-34), as well as five more assists (21-16) and four more second chance points (22-18). Though still plenty to work on – the Bullets shot at an overall higher clip of 50 to 46 per cent and had more steals, blocks and less turnovers – it was clear the Taipans had impressed.

Majok Deng was the dominant big man with 26 points, four rebounds and three assists, including eight from eight at hte line, worrying the opposition. The long-range deadeye was Bul Kuol who shot the lights out with eight of 10 from long-range, totalling 26 points, as well as two rebounds and two assists. Tahjere McCall (19 points, eight rebounds, six assists and four steals) did it all, whilst Stephen Zimmerman (11 points, 14 rebounds, four assists and two blocks) and Keanu Pinder (11 points, 10 rebounds and two steals) both picked up double-doubles.


Adam Forde said post-game that despite the team conceding so many points and the likes of Robert Franks, Jason Cadee, Lamar Patterson and Tanner Krebs all finding looks, he would “definitely take it”.

“Yeah we couldn’t defend we couldn’t protect the paint very well, and there was some possessions at half-time. We had had basketball players making basketball plays. Franks and Cadee were cooking us in that first half and then Lamar was just doing what Lamar does, just those little mid-range spin fadeways.

“Taj (Krebs) had one hand in the face and still drilled it, all you can do is shrug right? He’s a hell of a player. Thankfully we made a whole bunch of shots too. If you’d told me that we had to roll in here and say we’d have to score 102 points to get the win I would have been nervous, but I’ll definitely take it.”

Franks finished with 22 points, six rebounds, four steals and two assists, leading the Bullets’ scoring with Patterson (16 points, five rebounds and three assists) not far behind. Cadee had 15 points, five assists and three steals in the loss, whilst Krebs recorded 10 points and two assists. Deng Deng and Isaiah Moss combined for 11 points off the bench.


Brisbane Bullets will look to bounce back from their loss when they take on Adelaide 36ers at home on Friday night, whilst Cairns Taipans travel to WIN Entertainment Centre to lock horns with Illawarra Hawks on Saturday night. in Round 11.

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