Phoenix Top 10 Moments: 5-1
5. SAVAGED PHOENIX TOPPLE REGINING CHAMPIONS
NBL24, January 25, 2024 | vs Sydney Kings
No imports, let alone barely enough players to fill the NBL-mandated 11-player roster, everyone wrote the Phoenix off from before their shoes even touched the court. And rightfully so, the Phoenix came in as the longest of long-shots on the back of a horrid run of losses. Whether it was divine intervention, or pure will to win on the back of their inspirational captain Mitch Creek.
Creek recorded 31 points and 10 rebounds, Ben Ayre took flight with 23 points and development player-turned full roster guard Owen Foxwell added 12 points and six assists to shock Mahmoud Abdelfattah’s team.
4. PLAYOFF RUN IN 2020/21
NBL21 Sem-Finals | vs Melbourne United
It took until the last day of the regular season to sure up the Phoenix’s first-ever playoff berth in just their second campaign. It would be one of the closest differentials between a fourth and fifth finish in NBL history, Sydney needing to have scored just an additional three points per game to knock the Phoenix out.
Luck was on the Phoenix’s side though, and percentage too, ultimately pitted against their cross-town rivals and table-toppers Melbourne United. A mighty task and after dropping game one an even more daunting one, but the best was yet to come.
Game two saw the Phoenix draw the series level after Mitch Creek dominated in a COVID-bubble arena, scoring 26 points and shocking the league leaders. And while Dean Vickerman’s side rallied to eventually claim the NBL championship that season, the Phoenix won the respect of the league for their showing in their maiden playoffs tilt.
3. FIRST EVER GAME
NBL20, October 3, 2019 | vs Melbourne United (Throwdown I)
A game years in the making, the season opener and first-ever Throwdown was one for the ages. ‘Melbourne Arena’ as it was known played host to the Phoenix’s first outing and in front of a bumper crowd, South East Melbourne put on a show.
Rightfully so, Melbourne came in as favourites as last year’s runners-up faced a fresh-faced Phoenix, but from the outset the little brother came out swinging. On the back of marquee Mitch Creek (28 points, 11 rebounds, four assists) the new boys shot out to a 12-point lead and never looked back.
They showed their wares and nerve when United inevitably tied the game up last in the final term, once again turning to Creek to hit a clutch three and save the game.
2. FIRST EVER HOME GAME
NBL20, October 13, 2019 | vs Brisbane Bullets
A week before, the Phoenix toppled cross-town rivals Melbourne United to open their account. To prove it was no fluke, they came out and beat the Brisbane Bullets in their first game as hosts too. John Roberson (30 points, six assists) and Mitch Creek (25 points, seven assists, seven rebounds) were red-hot as South East Melbourne ran out 20-point winners in front of a crowd donning brand new black and green jerseys.
The spectacle of Phoenix's home game was launched and still remains as one of the best entertainment in the NBL.
The Phoenix would go on to win four of their first five games showing that they came into the league ready to play. The competition well and truly took notice of the team from the Heartland.
1. THE TEAM GETS A NAME
A year out from their first game, a huge moment for the club took place with the naming of the NBL’s ninth franchise. Chief Executive Tommy Greer took centre stage and explained that after extensive community engagement, it was decided that the new club would be born as the ‘Phoenix’.
For good reason too, the Phoenix would represent re-birth and honour the clubs of the South East that had come before. Not since 2009 had the basketball fraternity in the South East of Melbourne had a team to call their own, the Phoenix giving Melbourne a second team.
150 games later and the Phoenix have gone from strength to strength both on and off the court.
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! Under 400 GA tickets remain, CLICK HERE to secure yours.