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VMT MATCH PREVIEW: Phoenix Ready to take on Ladder Leaders for Throwdown XXIV

03 Feb
3 mins read

Written By

Kadek Thatcher for Phoenix Media

An undermanned Phoenix take on the red-hot ladder leaders Melbourne United for the final Throwdown for the season back at John Cain Arena.

Key Details

MELBOURNE UNITED 17-7 (1st) vs SOUTH EAST MELBOURNE PHOENIX 10-15 (10th)
Where: John Cain Arena
When: Saturday, February 3 at 8pm AEDT
Watch Live on ESPN via Kayo or Foxtel

Mike Kelly’s side may be depleted in numbers due to injuries, but no pundit can say that the Phoenix aren’t putting up a fight.

Shown in their shock-win over the Sydney Kings and their brilliant efforts against the Wildcats, South East Melbourne have their dukes up and are well and truly swinging.

Adding further pain though, the Phoenix will be without captain Mitch Creek who has sustained a heel injury in the last game, Gary Browne and Matt Kenyon also set to continue their stints on the sidelines.

United return to their home court for the first time in 2024 after a seven-game road run where they finished with three wins and four losses.

Dean Vickerman’s side had a disappointing 14-point loss to the Kings last round and will be looking to turn the loss around and cement their position at the top of the ladder.

Going into Throwdown XXIV, the Phoenix are 0-3 but will bring the force of the young local squad to hopefully end the series on a high.

Teams

Phoenix

The Phoenix will be without captain Mitch Creek due to a heel injury.

Gary Browne and Matt Kenyon will remain on the sidelines as they go through rehab for their groin and hip injuries.

DP Luke Rosendale will remain in the side, while DP Austin Rapp will not suit up as he competes at the U20 National Championships in Ballarat.

United

A full-strength United will take on the Phoenix.

Keep an Eye On

Kody Stattmann

Kody Stattmann has well and truly found form. Whether he’s changed protein powders or got a better night’s sleep, something has clicked for the Queenslander. Before round 17, Stattmann was 5-23 from deep, before a marked change that sees him 6-9 in his last two starts.

Jo Lual-Acuil Jr 

‘JLA’ has returned to the NBL on a high only dropping to single digits on the scoreboard three times so far this season. Currently averaging 15.8 points and 8.4 rebounds, he’ll be a handful with Gorjok Gak and Anzac Rissetto set to take the task of the United big man.

History

Regular Season Head-to-Head
Phoenix 6-14 United

Last time out – Rd 11, NBL24
Phoenix 78-106 United

Phoenix
Browne 22p
Williams 12p
Creek 12p

United
Lual-Acuil Jr 17p
Goulding 15p
Clark 15p

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