WWAG Match Recap: round 7 vs South East Melbourne Phoenix
Melbourne United Media
In front of a massive contingent of United fans, Tanner Krebs, who was inserted into the starting lineup for the contest, got Melbourne going with a silky floater.
While the Phoenix were able to hit back from the free-throw line, Jo Lual-Acuil Jr and Chris Goulding ensured they could never pull away.
CG43 cashed in from beyond the arc and the charity stripe for six points, while JLA caused havoc inside, tallying eight points to go along with three rebounds and two blocks.
This was enough to cut the SEM lead to just one heading into quarter time.
The matchup stayed close to start the second, with Flynn Cameron knocking down a pair of threes in the opening two minutes.
The Phoenix answered with a 7-0 run, however a spectacular long-range make over two players from Goulding started United’s comeback.
With MU’s guards hitting from outside, the combination of JLA and Rob Loe provided a massive spark, fueling a run that propelled the ‘visitors’ into the lead in the final seconds of the half.
Coming out of the major break United looked to attack the hoop, as Ili and Goulding got all the way to the cup for easy baskets.
The man who has won more Throwdown games than any other player wasn’t done there, scoring eight more points in the period to bring his total up to 22.
Also staying hot from behind the arc was Cameron, who knocked down his fourth three of the night.
This shooting display, as well as some tough inside buckets from JLA, put Melbourne up by as many as nine points, however as they had for the entire game, SEM answered, tying up the contest with a minute remaining in the third before a late score from MU put them back in front by one leading into the final period.
Two tough finishes from Lual-Acuil Jr and a Shea Ili layup saw United build on their advantage, however the Phoenix refused to go away, charging forward to take back a one-point.
Another JLA score in the paint allowed Melbourne retake the lead, before Flynn Cameron added to his strong performance with a high-floating layup.
Grasping onto a two-point lead, CG43 showed why he has consistently been the best long-range marksman of the modern era, dialling in a basket from close to half-court.
Still needing to finish strong, Lual-Acuil Jr made the most of his opportunities at the free-throw line down the stretch.
A late Kyle Bowen bucket plus the foul sealed the deal on Throwdown XXII, bringing the all-time tally to 15-7 in MU’s favour.
United will next face the Sydney Kings on Sunday 19 November at John Cain Arena at 4pm. Tickets are nearly sold out, so get in quick to secure your seat.