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Roberts joins 36ers' frontcourt


RONALD Roberts will give Adelaide 36ers another terrific frontcourt option alongside Daniel Johnson, Matt Hodgson and Majok Deng in the Sixers’ 2017-18 NBL championship assault.

The 36ers’ latest import signing brings 203cm of toughness to the frontline and with his extensive experience, is unlikely to consistently struggle with foul woes, an issue which plagued the man he replaces, Eric Jacobsen.

With Johnson an All Star selection and Hodgson in the Boomers team for the FIBA Asia Cup, Adelaide substantially has shored up its rotation by adding Roberts, 25.

He joins the club’s other new import signing, playmaking guard Shannon Shorter, Adelaide revamping its import trio from last year’s regular season champion, which was bundled out of the playoffs by nemesis Illawarra.

MVP of his college team at St Joseph’s in both his junior and senior years, Roberts (pictured) led the Hawks to the Atlantic 10 Tournament title in 2014 and named to its All-Tournament team.

In 32 games as a starter, he averaged 14.4 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.3 blocks.

Undrafted, Roberts has spent most of his time in the NBA D-League, first with Delaware 87ers, then the Santa Cruz Warriors and Raptors 205. He was a D-League All Star last year, averaging 18.1 points, 12.1 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game for the Raptors.

After playing NBA Summer League with Milwaukee Bucks last year, he signed with Turkish club Tofas where he averaged 11.7ppg, 6.2rpg and 1.3apg, his stint cut short by a knee injury.

While retaining its eight-man Australian contingent, Adelaide now has replaced Jerome Randle, Terrance Ferguson and Eric Jacobsen from its team that bowed out in the semi finals last season, with Shorter, Ramone Moore and Roberts respectively.

Wright was keen to upgrade the power forward/centre role with a genuine 6-8 "boards banging beast", easing the burdens on Johnson and Hodgson.

During his time coaching Gold Coast Blaze, Wright brought in a similar player in Ira Clark and is known to favour that type of versatility.

Roberts will be comfortable at the power forward spot, matching up against players such as Matt Knight or Mika Vukona.

But he also will be able to spend time on centre players such as Cairns' "Beast of Bamaga", Nathan Jawai or Brisbane's Tom Jervis.

Adelaide expects to have its full lineup together in September.

It will contest the NBL Blitz in Traralgon from September 7-9 and has been invited to the Merlion Cup in Singapore, later in the month.

The CBA's Shanghai Sharks, owned by NBA star Yao Ming, also is expected to compete.

Jul 28

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