Watch the Throne – Kings storm into third
THERE has been some exciting action over the weekend for the National Basketball League (NBL), with a number of big matchups taking place across the courts. On Saturday, the league held a big double-header, and it was headlined by a clash between two of the competition’s contenders, as the Sydney Kings travelled south to take on the SEM Phoenix at John Cain Arena in the primetime slot. There was plenty of excitement building around this clash, with no clear favourite coming in. Both teams have been in good form in the back end of the season, producing some high-quality entertaining basketball.
The matchup did not disappoint, as fans in attendance were treated to a thrilling contest in what is shaping as a finals preview. Both squads brought their A-game and it was reflected in the fantastic way the game panned out. Neither side was able to get a clear advantage in the first half, as the lead changed hands in a terrific first two quarters of play. The Kings were able to get the upper hand in the third term behind some impressive work from Jarell Martin and Jaylen Adams, as they turned their half-time deficit into a three-point lead heading into the final period of play. It was a thrilling finish to the game, as the Phoenix could not conjure the go-ahead basket. Martin made the match-winning play, pulling down the biggest rebound of the match to seal the win and give his side one of their most significant wins of the 2021/22 season.
For the victors, Martin was the standout, producing one of his best performances of the season with 24 points, eight boards and one of the most important plays of the game. He was able to produce a bucket whenever his side needed one, and was by far the best player on the court. Adams was restricted a bit in scoring the basketball, but was still able to impact the contest with 15 points, five rebounds and eight assists. For the Phoenix, Xavier Munford gave it his all with 26 points, but was not given reward for effort.
The second match in the day’s double-header saw the Illawarra Hawks claim some revenge over the Tasmania JackJumpers with a 26-point blowout win at MyState Bank Arena. After the JackJumpers got the win last week, the visiting side was clinical in the rematch, and stormed away in the final three quarters after Tasmania got off to a ripping start.