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Taylor-made to phill in phor Phoenix

THEY'RE definitely NOT playing ring-a-ring-a-rosey at South East Melbourne but tomorrow against the Bullets in Brisbane, Steve Taylor Jr will suit up instead of Brandon Ashley, who the Phoenix signed to replace Devin "Who?" Thomas. COVID has opened the door for some much-needed NBL quick-signing player relief.

Ashley is due to arrive in Australia tomorrow so now most likely will debut tomorrow-week in the big clash against the pacesetting Illawarra Hawks.

Taylor Jr, who just happened to be in the right place at the right time, is visiting girlfriend Tiffany Mitchell, who is playing for the WNBL's Melbourne Boomers.

Taylor Jr, a 206cm power forward, originally only meant to stay for two weeks but a phone call with good friend and Phoenix star Mitch Creek saw him attending training with South East Melbourne.

His initial motivation was to stay in shape after his contract in Saudi Arabia ended, the Phoenix reported in a media statement.

“I had help from multiple great people to get me with Phoenix,” Taylor Jr said. “I absolutely love it here. Everything is professional and I love the group of guys.”

The American big-man played college basketball for Marquette Golden Eagles and Toledo Rockets before heading overseas to play in France, Hungary, Turkey, and Italy.

Taylor Jr is impressed how SEM operates and how hard everyone is working toward a common goal.

“Everybody is hard-working and want to win, starting from the front office all the way down to the trainers and I’m really excited and willing to do whatever to help them get a win," he said.

“It’s just a culture that I love to be around because I’m a hard-working player that’s willing to do everything in my power to win."

Phoenix CEO Tommy Greer confirmed that with multiple COVID disruptions, the NBL now was featuring very quick turnarounds for teams.

“It’s becoming clear that we will likely need extended rosters and replacement players as we navigate this season. Steve has been training with the team and we’re happy someone of his quality was available,” Greer said.

Once Taylor Jr is done with South East Melbourne, perhaps Adelaide, Sydney and Tasmania should send out an SOS, given the ordinary quality and injury status of some of their import personnel.

* * *

PERTH Lynx is on the board in just its second WNBL game after rocking defending champion Southside 83-79 in overtime at Ballarat on Wednesday.

Despite the return of Sara Blicavs from a back injury with a team-leading 21-point haul, the Flyers could not handle one of their own, former Dandenong Rangers centre Lauren Scherf producing a 23-point, 10-rebound double.

Scherf shot it at 56 per cent, Marina Mabrey also with 23 points (on 9-of-23, almost as impressive as her first round 10-of-24) and Opals star Sami Whitcomb with 17.

The absence of Jenna O'Hea hurt Southside, which again saw Kristy Wallace continue her emergence with 16 points, two assists and three steals.

Darcee Garbin's 3-pointer tied the contest at 77-77 to send it beyond regulation where the Lynx prevailed.

PERTH LYNX 83 (Scherf, Mabrey 23, Whitcomb 17, Garbin 10; Scherf 10 rebs; Mabrey 5 assts) d SOUTHSIDE FLYERS 79 (Blicavs 21, Wallace 16, Cole 13; Bishop 17 rebs; Cole, A. Rocci, Bishop 5 assts) in overtime {77-77} at The Museum, Ballarat Sports Centre.

Jan 14

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