The last Ayre-bender leads Marlins to win
AFTER breaking out for the Cairns Taipans in the National Basketball League (NBL) in season 2021/22, Ben Ayre produced another dominant display for the Cairns Marlins in the NBL1 North Men’s on the weekend.
When his side faced off against the USC Rip City, Ayre showed why he is set to be one of the Taipans’ most important players in the upcoming season. Coming off an inefficient game from the field, Ayre bounced back with a clinical performance on the offensive end of the court, leading his side to a 93-85 victory.
While things looked dire heading into the fourth quarter, the Marlins rallied behind Ayre’s efforts in the final 10 minutes of play, outscoring the opposition 31-20 to come from behind and claim their seventh win of the season.
It sees Cairns remain in the race for a top-four spot, and was a bit of an upset given Rip City were above them on the ladder. USC still remains one spot ahead in the standings, but the gap has now closed after the Marlins’ eight-point triumph.
Ben Ayre vs. Rip City – 43 points, seven rebounds, five assists
Ayre was by far the man of the moment for the Marlins in the win, proving to be the most damaging player on the court with a game-high points total. He was able to find the bottom of the net with ease throughout the game, and was likely the biggest factor in the result.
His 43 points was the most of anyone in the competition for Round 10 in the Men’s league. Seemingly unstoppable with ball in hand, Ayre tore apart the Rip City defence, and played a major role in not only keeping the Marlins in the contest, but the match-winning comeback delivered by Cairns in the final quarter.
13 of his 27 shots from the field were good, showcasing an ability to produce a bucket from anywhere on the court. He conjured scores from both inside and outside the arc, making it extremely difficult for the defence to contain him.
Inside the three-point line, Ayre went 8/17, managed buckets from around the key, whether it be from in the paint or mid-range.
From downtown, he produced five three-pointers, which was also the highest of any player on the court. To make it even more impressive, this came from only 10 attempts, so efficiency was no problem this time around.
Perhaps the most important facet of his game was his ability to get to the free throw line, and making it count when he got there. Ayre went 12 from 12 at the charity stripe, and nailed some of the most crucial free throws in the game.
It is one of the most eye-catching offensive performances seen in 2022 for the NBL1 North Men’s competition, and if Ayre can deliver showings of this calibre on a weekly basis, the Marlins are set to continue to rise up the rankings.