The Blaze's NBL championship hopes remain alive after surviving a Perth Wildcats onslaught to claim a nail-biting 72-70win on the Gold Coast on Wednesday night.
The Queensland club surrendered a 20-5 first-quarter lead and then several seven-point advantages as the six-time champions came at them again and again.
Controversially, Perth's Shawn Redhage (203-F-81, college: Arizona St.) was called for an offensive foul and his successful basket waived away with less than 30 seconds left, before Adam Gibson (188-G-86) and Jason Cadee (186-G-91) both made 1-of-2 from the charity stripe to maintain a two-point Blaze lead.
The game still hung in the balance until the final buzzer when a desperate Damian Martin (188-PG-84, college: Loyola Mary) heave went wide to hand Gold Coast victory.
Hudson showed he had come to play with a monster dunk to open the game, while Worthington stroked an open three-pointer as Gold Coast set up their 15-point advantage.
That lead was slashed to just three points at quarter-time as Perth capitalised on a spate of Blaze turnovers and fouls - including an unsportsmanlike from Stephen Hoare and a technical on Worthington.
Gold Coast streaked ahead again before Perth cut the margin to just one with little more than two minutes remaining in the second term.
But six straight points from Adris Deleon (180-G-84, college: E.Washington), the defensive pressure from the Gold Coast bigs and a buzzer-beater from Jason Cadee put the home team ahead 45-38 at half-time.
The Wildcats to again close within one point in the third quarter through Matthew Knight (204-F/C-85, college: Loyola Mary) 's hustle, but the desperate Blaze still held a 60-57 lead heading into the final quarter.
The Wildcats had two chances to edge in front with just over three minutes left in the game, but Luke Nevill travelled on his way to the basket and then put a foot on the line with the ball in hand.
The Gold Coast's crowd had their hearts in their mouths in the dying seconds, but Martin missed and the Blaze now face a deciding semi final in Perth on Saturday night.
The Perth Wildcats have signed West Australian guard Jackson Hussey (190-G-92, college: Pikeville) as an injury replacement for Jarrod Kenny(188-G-85) Hussey recently completed the 2016 State Basketball League season with the Geraldton Buccaneers. In 13 games, he averaged 20.3 points at over 45 per cent from the field, while accumulating 8.0 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game. In a pre-season game against the Wildcats in September, Hussey impressed Wildcats coaches with a strong perform... [read more]
Brandon McGill (185-G-89, college: St.Vincent) former player of Kalamunda Eastern Suns (Australia-SBL) gave an interview: Why you decided to be a pro player. I decided to become a professional basketball player because it is my first love and I believe doing what you love is the only thing that makes sense. There are many players without a job fighting for the same spots, how hard is to wait for your ideal offer and not take the first that comes up considering that the next one may not... [read more]
Brandon McGill (185-G-89, college: St.Vincent) former player of Kalamunda Eastern Suns (Australia-SBL) gave an interview:
Why you decided to be a pro player.
I decided to become a professional basketball player because it is my first love and I believe doing what you love is the only thing that makes sense.
There are many players without a job fighting for the same spots, how hard is to wait for your ideal offer and not take the first that comes up considering that the next one may not come soon.
It is a VERY complicated decision to make, but one I was just forced to make last week actually. At the end of the day I know I have the patience to wait for the next deal, so I cannot compromise my self worth just to take the first offer on the table. Which was the best game you had in your career so far?
The best game I've had so far came while I was playing for Surrey in the BBL (UK). It was the only game of our season that would be televised on Eurosport, so I knew this was an opportunity I had to seize. I finished with a career-high of 37 points on 12/16 shooting. Tell us your strong point and your weakness in your game.
My strong point is my basketball IQ and my weakness is not dunking at every opportunity.
Which player was the hardest opponent to play against?
Randle's 23 points and 8 assists give him Player of the Week award - 2 days ago
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29-year old point guard Jerome Randle (175-PG-87) put on an extraordinary performance in the last round for 36ers and receives a Australiabasket.com Player of the Week award for round 3. He had the game-high 23 points adding two rebounds and eight assists for 36ers in his team's victory, helping them to crush, the league's bottom-ranked team Taipans (#8, 0-3) with 16-point margin 83-67. 36ers is placed at 3rd position in Australia league. They would have been even better if they hadn't lo... [read more]
29-year old point guard Jerome Randle (175-PG-87) put on an extraordinary performance in the last round for 36ers and receives a Australiabasket.com Player of the Week award for round 3. He had the game-high 23 points adding two rebounds and eight assists for 36ers in his team's victory, helping them to crush, the league's bottom-ranked team Taipans (#8, 0-3) with 16-point margin 83-67. 36ers is placed at 3rd position in Australia league. They would have been even better if they hadn't lost two games earlier this season. 36ers will need more victories to improve their 3-2 record. In the team's last game Randle had a remarkable 55.6% from 2-point range. He turned to be 36ers' top player in his first season with the team. University of California graduate has very impressive stats this year. Randle is league's best scorer averaging so far 24.0ppg. Randle is in league's top in assists (4th best: 4.4apg) and averages solid 66.7% FGP.
Second best performed player last round was Casey Prather (198-F/G-91) of league's second-best Wildcats. He is American swingman in his 2nd season at Wildcats. In the last game Prather recorded impressive 24 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists. Of course Wildcats cruised to a 80-73 relatively comfortable win over Hawks (1-4). The season is still at the very beginning and this victory may help a lot. Let's wait for the next round. Prather is well-known at Wildcats and he already established his position as one of the team's leaders. He belongs to the best scorers in the league with 20.2ppg (#2). His other stats are also decent: 4.8rpg and 3.8apg.
Third place about best performers goes to forward Greg Whittington (203-F-93) of league's leader Kings. Whittington scored 22 points and grabbed seven rebounds. He was a key player of Kings, leading his team to a 92-78 easy win against Breakers (#6, 1-3). Kings confirms their top position in the standings. Whittington has a great season in Australia. After only 5 games, he made it on the list of the league's leaders in rebounds with 7.6rpg (3rd best).
Other top performing players last week: 4. Andrew James Ogilvy (211-C-88) of Hawks - 15 points and 12 rebounds 5. Daniel Kickert (208-C/F-83) of Bullets - 23 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists 6. Andrew James Ogilvy (211-C-88) of Hawks - 20 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists 7. Akil Mitchell (206-F-92) of Breakers - 20 points and 4 rebounds 8. Brad Newley (199-F/G-85) of Kings - 20 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists 9. Kevin Lisch (188-C-86) of Kings - 19 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists 10. Matthew Knight (204-C/F-85) of Wildcats - 12 points, 8 rebounds and 2 assists
The Player of the week is chosen based on efficiency calculation, but also including game result, importance of the game, if played recorded double-double/triple-double, etc. The efficiency formula is a combination of various formulas used by different basketball organizations/leagues. We got involved many basketball scouts and journalists to assure it's accuracy. The formula: 1.5*PTS + 3* (REB+AST+ST+BL-TO) - 2*BSAG - 4*PF + 3*PFRV + 4* (2FGPM+3FGPM) + 1.5*FTM - 3* (2FGPA-2FGPM) - 3* (3FGPA-3FGPM) - (FTA-FTM)
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