The Adelaide 36ers opened their season with an 84-61 demolition of the Melbourne Tigers at Adelaide Arena on Sunday. It was a fiery opening round contest that saw Melbourne’s Chris Goulding and Adelaide’s Anthony Petrie ejected for fighting in the third quarter. Fun times for ex-teammates aside, the game was a tale of two halves with Melbourne showing some very positive early signs, only to be overrun in the second half.
Melbourne’s imports Seth Scott and Kevin Braswell stamped their authority on the game early, while Centre Matt Burston was dominating on the glass. The Tigers held tough early and led by as many as five in the first quarter before closing the first period up two.
What worked for Melbourne early was their mix of inside and outside play. The Sixers were kept guessing and Melbourne capitalised, getting more people involved and creating multiple scoring opportunities. As the game went on however, the style became more predictable and Adelaide started to take advantage.
The skirmish that broke out in the third quarter between Goulding and Petrie provided social media with an excuse to give both players a spray. It was the referees however who wore the biggest criticism for ejecting both players.
While the “melee” wasn’t exactly family fun viewing, there were no punches thrown and two ejections seemed a little harsh.
Leading all scorers in this game were Adelaide’s Daniel Johnson and Stephen Weigh, each with 21 points while Seth Scott paced the Tigers with 17.
Adelaide got themselves plenty of open shots with good ball movement, while Melbourne slipped into the habit of one-pass offence. The Tigers have a lot to work on but their first half certainly gave supporters a reason to be optimistic about the season ahead. Once injured Adam Ballinger returns to the lineup, the Tigers will not lean so heavily on Burston at both ends.
Burston was great in this game on the defensive end, blocking shots and contesting a lot of rebounds.
- Johnson 21p, 9r, 3a
- Weigh 21p, 4r, 3a
- Schenscher 9r, 4b,4st
- Gibson 12p, 7a, 7r
- Scott 17p, 6r, 2a
- Braswell 11p, 6a, 4r, 4st
- Walker 11p, 5r
- Burston 8p, 8r, 1b