Tall Blacks Duane Bailey, Kirk Penney and Rob Loe all featured in exciting overtime games this week Bailey and his Plymouth Raiders heading into additional time twice on the same weekend.
On Friday the Plymouth Raiders went down 80-79 to fellow strugglers Bristol Flyers in the British Basketball League. Duane Bailey had a poor shooting night for the Raiders going 0 from 7 from the field before fouling out with 1p/5r/5a/2b.
Plymouth played their second game of the round at the Copper Box Arena in the Olympic Park against London Lions on Sunday. This time the outcome was far more favourable as the Raiders won the extra period 21-11 to run out 114-104 victors. Bailey fouled out again but did contribute 9 points (4/8FG), 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. Former Breaker Daryl Corletto was near-flawless from the free throw line, netting 13 out of 14 attempts on his way to 28 points, including the 3-pointer to tie the game at 93-93 at the end of regulation time.
In Belgium Limburg United suffered a third defeat in as many weeks to Crelan Okapi Aalstar. United was defeated 103-102 in overtime after the scores had been locked 99 apiece in normal time. Rob Loe was extremely active with 9pts/5rebs/4assists/3steals but the league loss followed defeats to the same opposition in the two-legged Belgium Cup. Limburg slip down the Scooore (yep triple o is correct!) League ladder to 6th with a 4-5 record.
Unfortunately Kirk Penney (3pts on the night) did not go the distance in the Illawarra Hawk’s double overtime thriller against the Taipans in Cairns on Friday. The shooting guard gingerly left the court with a back injury early in the second half and was forced to return to the locker room unable to even sit on the bench to witness his team go down 103-101.
The Hawks had done very well to force overtime having trailed 70-53 entering the fourth quarter – it was some comeback – but it did not match the effort of the Townsville Crocodiles on Thursday night.
In total there were seven NBL games in the past week involving Tall Blacks players and Penney was in much better health earlier in the week. The Kiwi shooting guard slotted in 24 points (4/7 3PG) as Illawarra Hawks disposed of Cairns Taipans 97-82 on Wednesday night.
The Townsville Crocodiles were behind by 15 points with only four minutes to play but somehow outscored the Adelaide 36ers 20-4 in the closing minutes in arguably the comeback of the season. The Crocs sealed the win with a steal and break away dunk with two just seconds left on the clock. Leon Henry (7 points and 4 rebounds) was in the thick of the action for Townsville as they forced Adelaide into error after error in the closing stages.
The Crocs could not repeat the heroics on Saturday night going down 76-66 in the return leg of the double header. 2 from 2 shooting in this one for Henry plus a handy 6 boards.
As mentioned last week Jarrod Kenny’s minutes with the Wildcats have been reduced with Damien Martin’s return to Perth’s starting five. Kenny played just 9 minutes, and remained scoreless, as the Wildcats demolished Melbourne United 119-89 to move to the top of the NBL ladder.
Dion Prewster scored 3 points (1/4FG) in Sydney King’s 96-84 loss at Vector Arena on Friday night against the Breakers.
Both Prewster (2pts/1reb) and Kenny (2pts/2rebs/1assist) were involved in a historic game on Sunday. After 28 years the Sydney Kings played their final game at the Sydney Convention Centre before the demolition crew moves in. Unfortunately for the Kings they went down 87-68 in their 332nd game at the Kingdome in front of many former club greats.
On the college front Tai Webster scored 15 points and added 3r/3a/1b/1steal but Nebraska Huskers went down 83-67 to Creighton University on Wednesday.
The Huskers bounced back on Sunday in front of 15,500 of their fans to defeat Rhode Island 70-67. Webster posted 5 points, 3 assists and a block surprisingly attempting just 3 shots from the field.
In Spain CAI Zaragoza improved to 6-3 in Group C of the Eurocup by edging German side Ratiopharm Ulm 81-84 on the road on Wednesday. Sek Henry became the Zaragoza hero by hitting the game-winning shot – an off-balance triple – at the buzzer. Henry led the winners with 21 points while Isaac Fotu was next best with 14pts (5/10FG, 2/2FT). The win secured Zaragoza a place in the last 32 of the Eurocup.
Zaragoza’s league form continues to disappoint. Fotu managed 4 points, 3 rebounds and an assist as Zaragoza went down to Tenerife, on the holiday island, 82-78. They remain third from bottom of Liga Endesa with a 2-8 record.
It was a good week in the NBA for the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder claimed a fourth straight win in a 104-98 overtime victory against the Utah Jazz on Sunday. Steven Adams continued his solid form as the starting centre for the Thunder with 9 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks playing 32 minutes. The OKC record is now 16-8.