A great start to the NBL season with its latest franchise addition being a first round winner.
The 2019-20 NBL season is the 42nd season since the League’s inception in 1979. The addition of South East Melbourne Phoenix sees nine teams contesting the championship. The regular season is played between October 2019 and February 2020. This is followed by a post season playoff featuring the top 4 teams in March 2020.
This year the series will be televised, Free to Air, via SBS Viceland, in the first year of a two year deal. Streaming of all 126 games will be available live and free on streaming platforms such as SBS on Demand. ESPN will also broadcast 59 games including all games after 7.30 pm AEDT. Further details are below.
Read all about the South East Melbourne Phoenix vs Melbourne United game here:
Phoenix Open #NBL20 with Throwdown Triumph
South East Melbourne Phoenix have risen to victory in their first game in the NBL with the league’s newest franchise scoring a 91-88 win over Melbourne United in their first ever ‘Throwdown’ at Melbourne Arena on Thursday night.
The cross-town rivals locked horns to open the 2019/20 season and with a sold out crowd in attendance to show how hungry Melbourne is to have rival NBL teams battling again, it was a game that went down to the wire.
The stars weren’t quite all there with Casey Prather and David Barlow missing for Melbourne while Tai Wesley hurt his hamstring for the Phoenix in the first quarter joining Adam Gibson and Terry Armstrong sidelined.
But those on the floor delivered and none more so than South East Melbourne superstar Mitch Creek.
Just back from two stints in the NBA, the Phoenix franchise player was a man-possessed stepping up with 28 points and 11 rebounds to cover for the early injury to Wesley.
The power forward scored their first NBL points, but went down with a flare up of his hamstring injury five minutes into the game.
Melbourne United were down nine heading into the last term but fought back at the finish as Chris Goulding nailed some crucial buckets including a lay-up to tie the game 84-84 with a minute to play.
But Creek stood tall nailing a three on the next play and as gallant as Melbourne were, they couldn’t outlast the Phoenix.
Melo Trimble attempted a three from the top of the key to force overtime in the final seconds but his shot missed. Shawn Long put it back in and, after being fouled by Kyle Adnam, nailed two key free throws with 0.6 seconds to play assuring his club of its inaugural win.
Goulding had 27 points while Long was a force in the second half with 26 points and 12 rebounds while import guard John Roberson finished with a classy 20 points for the Phoenix.
Phoenix coach Simon Mitchell praised his players for their gritty display.
“We weren’t the most composed team down the stretch but I thought we played our asses off,” Mitchell said.
“I thought we were tremendously gritty. I thought in a short time these guys have been able to establish a real pride in their uniform and what we are doing in the south-east.
“While we weren’t great, anyone who is thinking about following us is going to see what we are about from tonight’s game. Hopefully we will be a little cool under pressure next game.”
United coach Dean Vickerman said his side made too many errors and started too slowly.
“We were a step behind with how we came out and the offensive rebounds and second chance points they got early on,” Vickerman said.
“We didn’t really push the pace. Part of it was getting to your spacing and we made so many errors to get started and that disrupted a lot of our offence.
“We got four points outside of our main guys so we needed more people to step up as we had three guys out [injured]. But give credit to Mitch Creek. The two threes he made down the stretch were extremely tough, that’s why you pay a marquee guy like that.”
Melbourne plays Perth Wildcats at RAC Arena on Saturday in a Grand Final rematch before then embarking on their United States trip for games against the LA Clippers and Sacramento Kings.
The Phoenix rest until Round 2 when they host Brisbane Bullets at Melbourne Arena next Sunday afternoon.
NBL ROUND 1
MELBOURNE UNITED 88 (Goulding 27, Long 26, Trimble 16)
SOUTH EAST MELBOURNE PHOENIX 91 (Creek 28, Roberson 20, Adnam 11)
How to Watch Round 1 of NBL20
Hungry Jack’s NBL20 tips off on Thursday, October 3 and there are no shortage of viewing options as we begin one of our biggest seasons to date!
With new TV broadcast partners SBS VICELAND and ESPN on board, you can tune in there with games before 7:30pm AEST on SBS VICELAND, and games after 7:30pm AEST on ESPN.
For the digital viewer, you can catch every game live on SBS on Demand as well as NBL TV which also boast a selection of NBL Classics and other featured content including Condensed Games, giving you everything you need from the game in 10 minutes.
One game every round will be broadcast live on Facebook Watch, with Round featuring Melbourne United and South East Melbourne Phoenix in The Throwdown to open the season.
Thursday October 3
Melbourne United v South East Melbourne Phoenix – Melbourne Arena, 7:30pm AEST
ESPN, SBS on Demand, Facebook Watch, NBL TV
Friday October 4
Cairns Taipans v Sydney Kings – Cairns Convention Centre, 7:30pm AEST
ESPN, SBS on Demand, NBL TV
Saturday October 5
Perth Wildcats v Melbourne United – RAC Arena, 5:30pm AEST
SBS VICELAND (Channel 31), SBS on Demand, NBL TV
Sunday October 6
Illawarra Hawks v Brisbane Bullets – WIN Entertainment Centre, 3:00pm AEDT
SBS VICELAND (Channel 31), SBS on Demand, NBL TV
The Australian competition is now a genuine stepping stone to the world’s leading Basketball Competition, the NBA.
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