To quote Derwayne Russell, this NBA season is crazy good.
And yes, I somehow just wrote NBA instead of NBL.
(V)A(R) League: Week 7
Melbourne City 3 defeated Western Sydney Wanderers 2 @ Bankwest Stadium
This was the first time in the history of Melbourne Heart/City that they’d won in Parramatta, and they owe most of it to the man of the moment Jamie Maclaren.
He scored a brace and became the first player to score two or more goals in four-successive A-League games.
The other big talking point was the customary VAR decisions that affected the game.
The first was City getting a penalty from Referee ‘Barry’ Beath with the Wanderers leading 1-0 in the 55th minute for a downright meaningless shirt pull that was upheld by the VAR.
Maclaren scored from the spot, Brillante made it 2-1, then Yeboah completed his brace, and then Maclaren won it in injury time with a deadset pearler that beat everyone into the left corner.
City stay stop, and the Wanderers have now gone 3 matches without a win, and their mood post-match was summed up by manager Marcus Babbel.
Marcus gets asked a Dorothy Dixer about the incident
“Serious question? F**k’s sake, no comment.”
“You have two eyes, you understand a game a bit? F***ing have a look.”
I can’t help but feel that I too would be abusing the decision making process if a referee somehow plucked out a penalty like that and the dickhead entrusted with the VAR upheld the call, only that I’d probably be threatening to tip over his bins and threaten his family.
Wellington Phoenix 2 defeated Brisbane Roar 1 @ The Caketin
One week after the Roar get their first win of the season, they give the Phoenix their first win of the season.
Bravo Robbie, you’re a top bloke.
Adelaide United 3 defeated Melbourne Lack Of Victory 1 @ Hindmarsh Stadium
What a beautiful match to watch, primarily for the simple fact that the Victory look nowhere near it in 2019/20.
The match peaked on the hour mark, when Ola Tovionen came off the bench cancelled out Riley McGree’s 1st Half goal, only for United to get the ball from the kickoff, and Michael Maria bang home what may have been an own goal 30 seconds later to give United the lead again.
In a match that saw James Troisi take on the Victory for the first time since he left, McGree overcame a tough week to leave the Victory in more trouble than a group of Australian footballers in the same room as a woman in Thailand, capping off the 10 minutes of madness with a quality solo effort to make it 3-1.
With the Lack Of Victory still sitting on 1 win from 6 games, Bozza certainly didn’t miss them from the comfort of his seat in the studio.
Thank goodness the Victory exist, because they’re taking the heat off another pitifully underachieving team that I’m more fond of.
Sydney FC 3 defeated Perth Glory 1 @ NIB Stadium
After that wildly successful ride that was the 2018-19 season, the Perth Glory have turned back into the pumpkin they’ve always been in the A-League era.
It all kicked off with Castro’s silly foul on Ninkovic (Who went down like a sack of spuds) after 10 minutes to give away a penalty that Le Fondre scored, but Bruno Fornaroli responded just before the half, making him the fastest player to 50 A-League goals.
And then most the footage of the 2nd Half was lost by Fox Sports, and replaced by a loop of the Kosta Barbarouses VAR decision, and the Fornaroli decision that robbed the Glory of their only avenue back into the match in the final 10 minutes.
As you can clearly see, despite being marginally offside, this is more proof of the FFA’s grand conspiracy to bring the Glory down.
1 win from 6- I think Poppa’s tie might be starting to get a bit tight around his neck.
Central Coast Mariners 1 defeated Western United 0 @ Central Coast Stadium
That crashing sound you heard on Sunday evening was Western United slowly coming to the realisation that they’re coming back to the pack…. and they still have to play games in Geelong.
NBL: Week 8
As a product, the NBL hasn’t been this good since the days of Gazey, Amazing Grace and Shane Heal.
Brisbane Bullets 106 defeated Adelaide 36ers 104 @ QSNC
I can sum this game up in 4 words.
Lamar Patterson Is Grouse.
Sydney Kings 90 defeated SEM Phoenix 86 @ Melbourne Arena
The Kings didn’t have the greatest performance you’d ever see, but thanks to the presence of Casper ‘The Ghost’ Ware and Jae’sean Tate, they snuck out of Melbourne with yet another W to extend their lead at the top.
That, and Mitch Creek pissed up the pass underneath the basket that would’ve resulted in the scores being tied with a matter of seconds to go.
Cairns Taipans defeated Perth Wildcats @ The Snakepit
Jesus, Mary and the bloke that lived next door to Joseph, that was an utterly awful final quarter from the Cats.
They led 70-60 at 3/4 time.
It ended up being a 31-14 scoreline in a 4th Quarter rout, and after the Wildcats look like they had the Taipans covered for 3 quarters, the final quarter ends up being even more lopsided than the 2nd Half of the game in Perth last month!
Given the Cats weren’t playing off a short backup,I’m not entirely sure how fatigue could play a part, especially with how poorly they defended the 3-ball in that final quarter.
I guess some things just can’t be explained by science.
Melbourne United 108 defeated Brisbane 94 @ Melbourne Arena
Melo Trimble leads United to a win, as they continue to leave that cow crap start to the season behind them.
Really, that was it.
Adelaide 117 defeated New Zealand Breakers 100 @ Adelaide Arena
The Sixers shot 62% from the floor in a dominant performance at home, led by forward Eric Griffin, who played only 18 minutes off the bench, but he gave the lowly Breakers a beating around the posts, racking up 24 points on 11-13 shooting, with 2/2 from beyond the arc in a devastating shooting display.
He ended up being the only player to score more than 20 points on Sunday evening!
Illawarra 114 defeated Cairns 106 in OT @ The WIN SEC
Anyone ever remember when there was some weird, spectacular, once in a million year thing was happening in the sky at night, like Haley’s Comet or the International Space Station passing over, and not really appreciating it at the time?
That’s how I feel watching Lamelo Ball play in the NBL.
At first you don’t appreciate watching him, because he’s only 18, and then he disappears forever and you’re disappointed- Or in Lamelo’s case, he’ll go to the NBA and dazzle the Americans first hand.
Last night was his greatest moment in his short stay in The Gong- 32 points (11/20 shooting, 3/4 from 3), 13 assists and 11 rebounds, and he and Tim Coenraad pretty much dragged the Hawks to another win against the Taipans.
At the age of 18, that makes him the youngest player in NBL history to record a triple-double, and he utterly destroyed the internet after that huge 3 to tie the scores at 99.
Not even a fortnight ago, that probably would have rimmed out- But he continues to learn, and that’s massive, especially with NBA GM’s flying out to Australia to watch him- Like Charlotte Hornets GM Mitch Kupchak!
The Taipans missed their last shot, it went to overtime, in which the Hawks tore the slippery Snakes to shreds, and moved off the bottom.
I think the fact that the Hawks are now 3-0 on the Taipans, who are 2-0 on the Wildcats, who are 2-0 on the Hawks, leaves me to design my latest invention.
THE TRIANGLE OF TERRIBLE
Triangle Of Terrible is somewhat harsh, but it’s the only adjective beginning with T that I could think of at the time.
It could easily have been Triangle Of Tiddlywinks.
The Nags: The Wizard Rides Again
It was the time-honoured Group 1 Railway Stakes at the Grand Old Lady of Australian Racing, which deadset last received a facelift when they cleared the railway out of there in the 19th Century.
Just as they did last year with Galaxy Star, the Holy Trinity of Pike, Peters and Williams won the race for the third time with Regal Power, in a customary Pike ride, sitting off speed, getting room when he had to, and blousing Godolphin’s Best of Days.
Up next it’s the Winterbottom Stakes, where the Sheikh’s soliders have Everest placegetter Trekking up against the might of the second rate locals.
I’m sure he’ll attract attention from me in the Chalk Eaters Guide.