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Oct.20-27: The week that was - almost

DEFENDING WNBL champion Canberra is licking its wounds tonight, while Illawarra put in a bold effort against Perth but basically kissed goodnight any hopes of an NBL playoff appearance.

That man Bryce Cotton was at the core of those Hawk problems not of their own making as he went off for 21 points with three 3-pointers, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals as the champion Wildcats escaped the Sandpit with an 81-76 victory.

Unbeaten at home, Canberra strayed away this WNBL round, only to be savaged by Melbourne in Geelong and stunned by the Flames in Sydney.

NEW Zealand opened the round with a 103-72 rout of the Hawks in Auckland, in what turned into the most watched NBL game of all time. For that wrap, click this link.

BACK to their new home court at Adelaide Entertainment Centre, the 36ers held off Cairns, but in Perth, South East Melbourne copped the round's second 31-point beating. Both games were wrapped up here.

IT was a thriller of fluctuating fortunes in Melbourne before United held off the Breakers, the scene shifting to Sydney where the Kings overpowered Brisbane from the tip. Those matches were summarised here

YOU'LL NEED TO WORK MUCH 'ARDER: Adelaide's Obi Kyei holds up Cairns' Scott Machada.

TODAY, Adelaide was over-run by the magic of South East Melbourne's self-belief in Melbourne, and for more, feel free to go here.

WHICH brings us back to Wollongong where the Hawks started strongly, Tim Coenraad an early offensive pacesetter and LaMelo Ball exciting those on triple-double watch with 16 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. Illawarra led 30-24 after one despite some great shooting by Terrico White, the Wildcats needing to dig deep to get this one done. Illawarra also had to dig, missing Josh Boone (broken nose) and with Aaron Brooks suffering a suspected achilles injury in the third quarter. Cotton delivered the killer blows, as usual, Illawarra now with a 1-6 win-loss record and already down a chasm which it will be almost impossible to climb out from.

(Henry 21, Hopson, Webster 17, Abercrombie 16; Hopson 10 rebs; Webster 6 assts) d ILLAWARRA HAWKS 72 (Brooks 19, Andersen 11, Ball 10; Ogilvy 8 rebs; Ball 4 assts) at The Breakwater, Spark Arena. Crowd: 8,338
ADELAIDE 36ERS 101 (Randle 22, Johnson 19, Drmic, Griffin 13, Moore 12, McVeigh 10; Griffin 10 rebs; Drmic 4 assts) d CAIRNS TAIPANS 97 (Oliver 21, Newbill 18, Machado 14, Deng 13, Noi 10; Oliver 7 rebs; Machado 10 assts) at Adelaide Entertainment Centre. Crowd: 6,288
PERTH WILDCATS 110 (White 17, Cotton 16, Vague 12, Norton, Wagstaff 10; Kay 13 rebs; Cotton 8 assts) d SOUTH EAST MELBOURNE PHOENIX 79 (Crockett 12, Adnam 11; Pineau 8 rebs; Madgen 5 assts) at The Jungle, RAC Arena. Crowd: 12,763
MELBOURNE UNITED 104 (Long 27, Goulding, Trimble 24, Barlow 11; Long 11 rebs; McCarron 7 assts) d NEW ZEALAND BREAKERS 98 (Ashley 24, Webster, Hopson 17; Abercrombie 8 rebs; Webster 6 assts) at The UN, Melbourne Arena. Crowd: 6,746
SYDNEY KINGS 94 (Ware 17, Louzada 14, Bogut, Bruce 12, Kickert 11, Tate 10; Bogut 11 rebs; Ware 5 assts) d BRISBANE BULLETS 79 (Sobey 21, Patterson 20, Braun 13; Braun 5 rebs; Hodgson, Patterson, Braun 3 assts) at The Kingdome, Qudos Bank Arena. Crowd: 7,819
SOUTH EAST MELBOURNE PHOENIX 101 (Roberson 24, Creek 18, Madgen 15, Gibson 14, Pineau 11; Pineau 8 rebs; Roberson 7 assts) d ADELAIDE 36ERS 91 (Johnson 20, Moore 17, Griffin 14, Randle 11; Johnson 13 rebs; Randle 4 assts) at The Fire Pit, Melbourne Arena. Crowd: 3,961
PERTH WILDCATS 81 (Cotton 21, Kay 15, White 14; Martin 10 rebs; Cotton, Martin 4 assts) d ILLAWARRA HAWKS 76 (Coenraad 18, Ball 16; Ball 10 rebs; Ball 7 assts) at The Sandpit, WIN Entertainment Centre. Crowd: 3,223

TOMORROW: Melbourne United at Cairns Taipans

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GEELONG Arena hasn't always been a happy hunting ground for Melbourne Boomers but their 35-point pounding of defending champion Canberra was one for the ages. The Boomers followed their 31-18 first period with a 27-15 second to have this wrapped 58-33 at halftime! Melbourne shot at 63 percent, Lindsay Allen leading the rout with 23 points at 67 percent, plus six assists. Cayla George had a blinder for 18 points at 80 percent, plus 12 boards and six assists. Maddie Garrick's 16 points included 4-of-5 threes while backup playmaker Monique Conti had a career day with 16 points in 16 minutes at 100 percent, 7-of-7 from the floor, 2-of-2 from three! Canberra lost every quarter and needed to turn its attention to the Flames in Sydney.

SARA Blicavs had her best game as a Southside Flyer with 23 points including 5-of-8 threes as Bendigo looked ready to be blistered off the pine in Traralgon. Ahead 69-51 with a period to play and up by as many as 22 points, the Flyers appeared on course for a comfortable finish to their fourth straight win. Showing great, well, Spirit, Bendigo pulled the final deficit back to only eight points, Marte Grays amassing 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting and nine boards. Gabe Richards scored 14 at 67 percent in her first game back but Carley Ernst disappeared offensively, going 0-of-7 in 29 minutes.

IN Perth, Adelaide rocked the Lynx in overtime behind a superb performance from Brianna Turner which you can read all about here.

LOBBING in Sydney, the champion Capitals were vulnerable but still expected to keep the Flames stuck with an egg in the W column. Sydney had a different plan, opening with a match-winning 30-12 first quarter and ahead 30-9 before the Caps managed to sneak into double figures by the siren. The Flames' backcourt of Tahlia Tupaea (23 points, five boards, four assists, two steals and a block) and Alex Wilson (18 points, 4-of-7 threes, three assists and two steals) had their most productive outing of the 2019-20 season, Lauren Scherf grabbing 10 rebounds against her previous club. Alice Kunek knocked down 24 points that housed 3-of-4 threes as Canberra's lack of depth stood out.

MELBOURNE's derby match with the only other unbeaten WNBL team Southside should be a beauty now the Boomers have established their bona fides with a further strong road win in Townsville. The Fire came out of halftime trailing by 13 but holding Melbourne to nine third quarter points turned the match around. Ahead by as many as 16 at 32-16 in the second, Melbourne had to fight it out but had Lindsay Allen alight for 28 points and 4-of-5 threes. South Aussie pair Abby Bishop (20) and Tess Madgen (18) led the Fire scoring.

(Allen 23, George 18, Conti, Garrick 16, Magbegor 12; George 12 rebs; Allen, George 6 assts) d UNI of CANBERRA CAPITALS 72 (Froling 14, Nurse 13, Griffin 12; Griffin 10 rebs; Epoupa 4 assts) at The Home Away From Home, Geelong Arena.
SOUTHSIDE FLYERS 85 (Blicavs 23, Russell 18, Cole 16, Mitchell 13; Russell 11 rebs; Mitchell 7 assts) d BENDIGO SPIRIT 77 (Grays 22, Lavey 17, Richards 14, Grays 9 rebs; Lavey 7 assts) at Traralgon.
ADELAIDE LIGHTNING 90 (Turner 26, Nicholson 21, Seekamp 15, Talbot 12, Hurst 11; Turner 17 rebs; Seekamp 12 assts) d PERTH LYNX 86 (Payne, Ebzery 22, Mansfield 14; Allen 8 rebs; Ebzery 15 assts) in overtime {79-79} at The Enclosure, Bendat Basketball Stadium.
SYDNEY UNI FLAMES 81 (Kunek 24, Tupaea 23, Wilson 18; Scherf 10 rebs; Tupaea 4 assts) d UNI of CANBERRA CAPITALS 75 (Nurse 21, Froling 19, Griffin 17; Tolo 9 rebs; Epoupa, Griffin 4 assts) at The Law Courts, Bryden’s Stadium.
MELBOURNE BOOMERS 83 (Allen 28, Magbegor 13, Garrick 11, George 10; Cunningham, George 7 rebs; Allen 5 assts) d JCU TOWNSVILLE FIRE 71 (Bishop 20, Madgen 18, Carleton 12, Garbin 10; Bishop, Madgen, Garbin 6 rebs; Madgen 4 assts) at The Fire Station, Townsville Stadium.

OOPSY DAISY: Must be a slippery floor in Sydney too as down goes Kelsey Griffin.

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Here's what we had this week, in case you missed something:

Southside had its first Player of the Week winner, here.

The 36ers had too much in the tank for Illawarra here.

Had some terrific candidates for NBL Player of the Week here.

Our NBL and WNBL rankings are here.

The big news of the week? Brad Rosen and I have teamed up for our weekly podcast and you could tune in via here.

The weekend's tips were here and not too shabby either!

And our Flashback of the week was a forgotten NBL All Star gem, right here.

Don't forget to tune in on Apple podcasts, Spotify or find the link at this site because coming to you again talking NBL and WNBL on Wednesday ...

Oct 27

Content, unless otherwise indicated, is © copyright Boti Nagy.