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Melbourne trusting the bench in big moments

13 Feb
2 mins read

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Melbourne United Media

Melbourne United have the second highest-scoring bench unit in the league

As Melbourne United charged towards their 19th victory of the season on Sunday afternoon against the New Zealand Breakers, the team’s bench unit once again stood up to help secure the important win.

Import guard Ian Clark led the way with 18 points, including a quartet of three-pointers, while Kyle Bowen led all players in plus/minus (+20), closely followed by Tanner Krebs (+17). 

Across the course of the season, MU’s bench ranks second in scoring (32.8 points per game).

Speaking post-game, assistant coach Jacob Chance explained why the bench is so important for Melbourne, and how Sunday’s clash with the Breakers will help prepare his side for the postseason.

“We trust our depth,” he said.

“Our bench was great tonight coming in, but to have multiple weapons facing a defence like (New Zealand’s) is really important. To see IC (Ian Clark) contribute and Shea (Ili) finding his jump shot is really important.

“We knew all week that New Zealand were a really physical, highly competitive team with a lot of playoff pedigree.

“They’ve been deep in the playoffs, last year obviously, and they’re fighting for their lives right now and they came out and showed that.

“To handle that physicality on the defensive end and execute is really important and we expect to see the same thing right through to the end of March.”

United will play a pair of games to finish the regular season. First, Melbourne will head on the road to face the Cairns Taipans on Friday night from 7:30pm before returning home on Sunday for a matchup with the Illawarra Hawks at 2pm.

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