News Article

VMT MATCH REPORT: Depleted Phoenix Swept against United

03 Feb
2 mins read

Written By

Aaron Pereira for Phoenix Media

A gallant Phoenix outfit put on a brave display against cross-town rivals Melbourne United, ultimately falling 99-83 at John Cain Arena.

Reduced to a team of just nine, the Phoenix were so injury stricken that they were unable to fill the league-mandated 11-player roster.

Missing captain Mitch Creek, rebounding extraordinaire Alan Williams, starters Matt Kenyon, Craig Moller and Gary Browne and Austin Rapp (who is representing the Victorian U-20s), the Phoenix were well and truly decimated.

Despite the major adversity, Mike Kelly’s side held their own in the first term, trailing by single digits and led by emerging star Ben Ayre (13 points, nine assists) who ran the point guard position with aplomb.

United got out to a 18-point buffer in the second but the Phoenix refused to fold, Abdel Nader (18 points, four rebounds) finding form in his first extended hit out since returning from a hand injury that held him to no minutes in the last two South East Melbourne outings.

The full-strength United side showed why they’re the league ladder-leaders in the penultimate quarter, shooting out to a unassailable 31-point lead, exploiting their lengthy bench and maximising the damage with five players passing double digits scoring outputs.

To make matters worse for the team of the Heartland, fan favourite Owen Foxwell landed heavily on his right ankle, unable to leave the court without assistance in another savage blow for the Phoenix.

The Phoenix didn’t lay down without a fight, outscoring United 24-11 to finish the bout with the hosts eventual 16-point winners at John Cain Arena.

South East Melbourne have a week's break before they return to the Fire Pit to take on the JackJumpers as they celebrate their 150th NBL Game and honour their valued members. Tickets will get you entry to our PhoenixFest with GA tickets startig from $12 for kids. CLICK HERE to secure yours.

Full-Time Stats

Nader: 18p/4r
Foxwell: 14p/2r
Ayre: 13p/4r/9a/3stls
Gak: 10p/11r/1a
Rosendale: 9p/1stl
Vague: 7p/8r/1stl
Stattmann: 6p/1r/1a/1blk
Te Rangi: 4p/3r/1a
Rissetto: 2p/3r


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