FANS of the National Basketball League (NBL) were treated to a thrilling match on Sunday afternoon, with the Adelaide 36ers hosting Melbourne United at Adelaide Entertainment Centre. The 36ers were coming off a tough loss to the Tasmania JackJumpers earlier in Round 9, and came into this match as underdogs against a United side that was on an eight-game winning streak. However, Adelaide was able to shock not only its opponents, but the entire league as it upset the reigning champions to the tune of five points in a memorable overtime battle. In what was their strongest performance of the season, the 36ers will have plenty of positives to take out of this game as they look to build on this win moving forward.
There were plenty of big moments throughout the contest, with both teams making big plays down the stretch in an attempt to secure the win. In this article, we take a look at some of the biggest plays in what was a ridiculously entertaining match.
1. White energises Melbourne with thunderous slam
United needed a serious spark in the third term, with the home side trailing by nine points early in the period. The match looked dangerously close to getting away from them, before one of their stars made a play that gave his side a much-needed lift. When forward Jack White was handed the ball at the top of the three-point line, United fans and coaches would have been confident in his ability to make something happen, and he did just that. White drove to the free throw line, shook Adelaide forward Daniel Johnson with the cross-over before rising for the biggest dunk we had seen up to that point in the game. None of the 36ers inside the paint felt compared to jump with White, as it likely would have resulted in a nasty posterizer. Regardless, the dunk sent shockwaves through Adelaide Entertainment Centre and gave United a lift heading into the final quarter.
2. Kai takes to the skies with reverse jam
Remarkably, White’s dunk may not have even been the best of the quarter, with Adelaide 36ers big man Kai Sotto topping the previous effort with a ridiculous ally-oop slam. On the fast break, veteran point guard Mitch McCarron had the ball and was looking to push the tempo, storming up the court. He was able to spot a cutting Sotto on his right, and tossed up an underarm pass in that general direction. While the pass wasn’t the best, the big man made amends by jumping up, gathering the ball and throwing down a reverse dunk as fans around Adelaide Entertainment Centre launched out of their seats.
3. Dust settles in the clutch
As time ran down in the fourth quarter, it looked likely that United had pulled off an impressive comeback after an underwhelming performance in the first three quarters. Last year’s champs led by three points with just 20 seconds remaining, as they looked to hold off the home side. Adelaide needed a hero, and a hero they got. Guard Dusty Hannahs found himself open on the inbounds play, catching the ball in the corner and immediately launching the shot from behind the arc, which found the bottom of the net. The shot sent the game to overtime, and Hannahs did not stop there, scoring six points in the bonus period to lead his side to their best win of the 2021/22 season.