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Phoenix Top 10 Moments: 10-6

05 Feb
5 mins read

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Phoenix Media

To celebrate the Phoenix playing 150 games in the NBL, we’re counting down the top 10 moments in South East Melbourne’s history in the league. Make sure you get involved on social media (@SEMelbPhoenix) and let us know if you think we’ve got it right!

10. JOHN ROBERSON'S MIRACLE
NBL20, December 15, 2019 | vs Cairns Taipans

It may never happen again but John Roberson moved mountains in the most remarkable of comeback victories against the Cairns Taipans. After losing a 10-point lead late in the fourth, the Phoenix trailed by six with 11 seconds remaining, enter Roberson. The American banged two threes back-to-back to force overtime.

Already having ripped the game out of Cairns’ hands, the fifth quarter was Roberson’s as well. The point guard would score 21 of the final 23 points of the game to secure the win over the Taipans

Roberson’s scoring prowess is still etched in Phoenix history, owner of three of the top 15 highest game scoring outputs – the other 12 belonging to Mitch Creek.

9. THE TUSSLE IN TRARALGON
NBL23, December 18, 2022 | vs Sydney Kings

Arguably one of the greatest games in NBL history, the Phoenix would defeat the reigning-champion Sydney Kings (who would go on to win the championship that year, also) by the smallest possible margin in a double-overtime finish. A see-sawing affair between the two teams was underpinned by the individual matchup of Mitch Creek and Derrick Walton Jnr.

Creek would post a stunning 46 points from 47 minutes, throwing in 10 rebounds as a cherry on top. On the other end, Derrick Walton Jnr chipped in with 45 points and 10 assists in the best one-to-one battle in the 40-minute era.

The Phoenix would claim the points in front of a packed-out Gippsland Regional Indoor Sports Stadium where fans well and truly got the value for the price of admission.

8. PHOENIX SIGN ZHOU QI
NBL22, September 8, 2021

The Phoenix ventured into Asia with the massive signing – both figuratively and literally – with 7”1 Chinese centre Zhou Qi. It made major waves across the world with the former Houston Rockets player bringing along with him a massive following. It was a landmark deal for the NBL as well announcing two players for Chinese heritage would be joining the league, cementing their global standing.

Over 33 games, Zhou averaged 10.2 points, six rebounds and two blocks a game, highlighted by 25 points and eight rebounds against the Hawks.

7. PHOENIX GET THE NINTH LICENSE
December 3, 2018

With the expansion of the NBL it would be decreed that a ninth team would come into existence. Where that team would be based would be dependent on meetings between newly appointed franchise owner Romie Chaudhari, chief executive Tommy Greer and the NBL executive. Based on financial commitments from the state and local governments, potential growth and the commitment to re-development the State Basketball Centre, the license would be awarded to South East Melbourne.

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December 3, 2018 was the date that the concept of the SEM Phoenix was born, and five years later, the club has experienced playoffs, record crowd growth and a burgeoning membership base.

6. MITCH CREEK AGREES TO JOIN PHOENIX
May 10, 2019

Already with 197 games with the Adelaide 36ers, Creek was the Phoenix’s first ever signing after he left Australian shores for a shot in the NBA. The lure of a return home to Victoria was too big to pass up and his potential was only just beginning to be realised. Never the main man on a team, the Phoenix would be the team Creek could lead as the marquee, and that he did.

In his first year in the Heartland, he averaged more points, more assists, more rebounds and more steals than in eight seasons in South Australia. In his second year, he led the fledgling Phoenix to a winning record and their first playoff berth. 339 games later and Creek shows no signs of stopping.

Creek owns the Phoenix’s scoring, assists, steals and rebounding titles, as well as the most games played for the franchise.

Get down to the Fire Pit this Saturday for all the festivities to celebrate our 150 club game in the NBL as well as honouring our valued members with PhoenixFest! CLICK HERE to secure your ticket with GA starting from $12 for kids.

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