News Article

VMT MATCH REPORT: Record Loss Ends Phoenix’s NBL24 Campaign

17 Feb
2 mins read

Written By

Aaron Pereira for Phoenix Media

The Phoenix have bowed out of NBL24 suffering a 55-point loss, allowing the Sydney Kings to book a playoff berth at the 11th hour to keep their title-defence alive.

The final scoreline read 67-122, the NBL’s biggest ever victory in the 40-minute era.

Needing a certain victory to finish inside the top six on the NBL table, the Phoenix stood in the Kings’ way with hopes to shake up the opposite end of the ladder.

Without any imports, South East Melbourne’s task would be daunting but not insurmountable, proven by their shock win with an even more depleted roster at the State Basketball Centre less than a month ago.

Less than 10 seconds into the game, big man Gorjok Gak set the tone with a rim-shattering dunk on Sydney Next Star Alex Toohey that’ll be sure to make the season’s highlight reel.

The Phoenix and Kings traded blows throughout the first term, back-to-back triples - on the way to five for the quarter - to the visitors creating a buffer that remained at 20 at the first buzzer.

In front of NBA legend Scottie Pippen, the Kings put their foot down against the depleted Phoenix in the second quarter, 29 points added as the lead extended to 24 at the main break.

The crowd stayed up in the Phoenix’s last game of NBL24, reaching fever pitch when a fan took home an MG car at half time though on-court it was the visitors trying to silence the stands.

The Phoenix’s hopes of sweeping the Kings took a hammer blow as the reigning-champions - through Jaylen Adams (24 points, nine assists) and Denzel Valentine (17 points, eight rebounds) took control and extended the lead to a whopping 36-points at the final turn.

Mitch Creek (13 points, three rebounds) and Owen Foxwell (16 points, four rebounds) willed their team to the final buzzer of the Phoenix season, though the result seemed a fait accompli, Sydney’s 122 points the largest output for any team this season.

The season complete for the Phoenix, finishing with an 11-17 record and resigned to the bottom of the table.

Full-Time Stats

Foxwell: 16p/4r/3a/1stl
Creek: 13p/3r/1a
Vague: 7p/2r/1a/1stl
Rapp: 7p/2r
Rissetto: 6p/4r
Rosendale: 5p/2r/3a/1stl
Ayre: 4p/1r/3a/1stl
Gak: 4p/4r/1blk
Kenyon: 3p/3r/2stls
Te Rangi: 2p/1r/1a/1stl
Stattmann: 5r/1a/2stls/1blk



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