Hawks show dominance in win over Perth
Unheralded Wollongong are the only unbeaten team in the NBL after confirming themselves as legitimate title contenders with a 100-67 home blowout of Perth, the only other previously undefeated side.
The Hawks (5-0) sprinted to a 34-10 lead inside the first ten minutes on Sunday that included a stretch of 19 unanswered points and never led by less than 14 against a normally miserly Wildcats defence.
Wollongong had six double-digit scorers, headed by Adris Deleon's 26 points and Oscar Forman (21) while the team shot a sizzling 56 per cent from the field against Perth (3-1).Reigning champions New Zealand (4-1) kept up the pressure on the front-runners by notching their fourth straight win with a thrilling finish.
Mika Vukona hit a three-pointer inside the last five seconds to give the Breakers a 79-76 home victory over Sydney (3-4), who stormed back from a nine-point last-quarter deficit and from 13 down in the third term.
American guard Cedric Jackson maintained his hot start to the season by tallying 22 points, seven assists, seven rebounds and four steals.
''Ced really carried us at important moments and did a great job attacking their zone,'' said Breakers coach Andrej Lemanis.
Centre Alex Pledger contributed 16 points and ten rebounds, while in-form Kings co-captain Ben Madgen rattled up 30 points.
Melbourne (1-4) finally broke their drought at the expense of the other winless team Townsville (0-7), with a 91-66 home hammering of the Crocs on Sunday.''(For me) it felt the same as my first win as a player,'' Melbourne coach Chris Anstey said.
Adam Ballinger scored 23 for the Tigers, who shot 55 per cent from the field to the Crocs' 33 per cent.
''It's been a tough schedule but that's no excuse, this is professional basketball,'' Crocs coach Paul Woolpert said.
On Friday, Cairns (3-3) outscored Townsville 15-3 in overtime to score a 92-80 away win.In a classic battle of American point guards, Jamar Wilson scored 25 for Cairns and Gary Ervin 23 for the Crocs, who fought back from 15 down in the last quarter.
''Jamar made some plays for us and blew it open in overtime which is what he needs to do, he needs to be our playmaker,'' Taipans coach Aaron Fearne said.Sydney suffered another close loss, going down 88-81 at home to Adelaide (3-2) on Sunday.
The Kings shot to an early 14-2 lead, but trailed 64-51 before scoring 14 straight points to hit the front.
The 36ers landed five out of seven three-point attempts in the final quarter, but big man Luke Schenscher headed their scorers with 18.Adelaide coach Marty Clarke, who has been linked to the vacant Boomers position, said he thought there would be plenty of others ahead of him.