Category Archives: Basketball

Sydney Kings v Melbourne United


National Basketball League

Saturday 30th December 2017

Tip Off 17.30

Sydney Kings 79 Melbourne United 103,  attendance 6,014

Kings Starters :

T. Blanchfield 10 pts, 7 reb, 1 ast, 2 blk

B. Newley 4 pts, 3 reb, 2 ast, 1 blk

J. Randle 26 pts, 2 reb, 5 ast

P. Ellis 13 pts, 8 reb, 4 ast

A. Singh 0 pts, 1 reb

Bench :

T. Garlepp 2 pts, J. Cadee 8 pts, D. Pineau 8 pts, I. Humphries 0 pts, A. Thoseby 2 pts, S. Daly 0 pts, J. Tyler 6 pts

United Starters :

C. Goulding 18 pts, 2 reb, 5 ast, 1 stl, 1 blk

T. Wesley 12 pts, 8 reb, 4 ast, 1 blk

C. Ware 26 pts, 3 reb, 5 ast

J. Boone 18 pts, 7 reb, 2 ast, 2 stl, 1 blk

C. Felix 7 pts, 7 reb, 2 ast, 1 stl

Bench :

D. Barlow 8 pts, K. Adnam 2 pts, T. Smith-Milner 3 pts, C. Moller 9 pts, P. Hooley 0 pts

@ Qudos Bank Arena

Olympic Boulevard

Sydney Olympic Park


NSW 2127

AUD $52 Admission + AUD $6.70 Fees, Will Call.

No Programme.

Qudos Bank Arena, which was known as Sydney Super Dome when it was completed in 1999, is a multi purpose arena that was built for use in the 2000 Summer Olympics. Capacity here is 21,032, of which around 18,200 is seated. For Kings home games, only the bottom tier and a small section of the third tier is used for spectators.

The arena is easily reached by public transport from the city centre. Trains from Sydney Central Station to Lidcombe on line T1, with a change to line T7 for one stop to Olympic Park, take around 35 minutes at a cost of just AUD $6.02 return using an Opal Card, which is the equivalent to the Oyster Card in London.

As for the match, it was far too easy for Melbourne after halftime. Sydney actually led 46-44 at the break, having been up by 5 points at one stage. However, Melbourne blitzed them with a 15-0 run in the opening stages of the third period and never looked back, holding a 26 point lead at one point towards the end.

Melbourne United v Adelaide 36ers


National Basketball League

Friday 22nd December 2017

Tip Off 19.30

Melbourne United 99 Adelaide 36ers 91,  attendance 8,089

United Starters :

D. Barlow 7 pts, 2 reb

C. Goulding 22 pts, 1 reb, 1 ast

T. Wesley 14 pts, 7 reb, 4 ast, 2 blk

C. Ware 24 pts, 2 reb, 5 ast

J. Boone 4 pts, 12 reb, 1 ast, 2 blk

Bench :

D. Anderson 5 pts, K. Adnam 2 pts, T. Smith-Milner 0 pts, C. Muller 8 pts, P. Holley 11 pts, F. Van Hove 2 pts

36ers Starters :

D. Johnson 20 pts, 10 reb, 3 ast, 1 stl, 2 blk

N. Sobey 19 pts, 3 reb, 1 stl

M. Hodgson 1 pt, 1 reb, 2 ast, 1 blk

J. Childress 18 pts, 8 reb, 2 stl, 1 blk

S. Shorter 11 pts, 11 reb, 5 ast, 4 stl, 1 blk

Bench :

B. Treys 3 pts, S. Johns 0 pts, N. Larkins 0 pts, M. Deng 14 pts, R. Moore 5 pts

@ Hisense Arena

2, Olympic Boulevard


VIC 3004

AUD $54 Admission

Programme, Download Only.

Unlike the N.B.A. in the U.S.A., matches here are played over 4 x 10 minute periods, rather than the 4 x 12 minute format. The standard here would be similar to the top colleges in America.

Once Melbourne got in front, it all looked to be going very comfortably for them. Adelaide led by 4 points early on, but at one stage, Melbourne were up by 16 points. With 1 minute 28 seconds left on the clock, Melbourne led 91-83, but a superb comeback looked on the cards, as Adelaide reduced it to 93-91 with just 23 seconds left, before the hosts hit back to seal the win.

Hisense Arena is a multi- purpose venue that is part of the National Tennis Centre at Melbourne Park. It was opened in 2000 and hosts games in the Australian Open Tennis as well as netball and track cycling, which requires a re-configuration of the seating. Basketball matches here have a 10,500 capacity. Public transport is ideal for this venue as Tram No.70 stops right outside.

Toronto Raptors v Chicago Bulls


National Basketball Association

Eastern Conference

Thursday 19th October 2017

Tip Off 19.30

Toronto Raptors 117 Chicago Bulls 100, attendance 19,800

Raptors Starters ;

Norman Powell : 15pts, 4 reb, 1 ast, 1 stl

Serge Ibaka : 8 pts, 4 reb, 2 blk

Jonas Valanciunas : 23pts, 15 reb, 2 ast, 2 stl

DeMar DeRozan : 11pts, 6 reb, 5 ast, 2 blk, 1 stl

Kyle Lowry : 12pts, 4 Feb, 9 ast, 1 stl

Used Subs ;

CJ Miles, OG Anunoby, Fred Van Vleet, Jakob Poeltl, Delon Wright, Pascal Siakam, Alfonzo McKinnie

Bulls Starters ;

Paul Zipser : 7pts, 5 reb, 3 ast, 1 stl

Lauri Markkanen : 17pts, 8 reb, 1 blk

Robin Lopez : 18pts, 8 reb, 2 ast, 1 stl

Justin Holiday : 15pts, 4 reb, 2 ast, 1 stl, 1 blk

Jerian Grant : 7pts, 2 reb, 7 ast, 2 stl

Used Subs :

Denzel Valentine, Cristiano Felico, Ryan Arcidiacono, David Nwaba, Quincy Pondexter, Kay Felder, Antonio Blakeney

@ Air Canada Centre

40 Bay Street


ON M5J 2X2

CAN $123 + CAN $15.25 fees.

No Programme.

The Air Canada Centre is in the heart of Downtown Toronto, immediatly to the south of Union Station, which it is connected to via a pedestrian walkway. It was opened in February 1999 and has a capacity of 19,800 for basketball. It is also home to Toronto Maple Leafs, of the National Hockey League and Toronto Rock of the National Lacrosse League. It was announced in August, that from July 2018, it will be renamed Scotiabank Arena, following a new sponsorship deal of CAD $800 million over 20 years.

Tonight was the season opener and despite being announced as a 19,800 sell out, there were quite a few empty seats, so the actual ‘attendance’ in the building was probably around a thousand less than claimed. The game itself ended up pretty one sided after the Raptors outscored the Bulls 33-14 in the second quarter to lead by 58- 37 at the interval. Despite the Bulls edging the second half by 4 points, the damage was done. CJ Miles scored an impressive 22 points from the bench on his debut for the Raptors

As the Raptors are the only non-American team in the N.B.A. it was the first time I have been to a top level game where the fans are there to watch the match, rather than being there just to eat and drink throughout, getting in and out of their seats every ten minutes, paying little attention to the actual action on the court. The same thing happened when I visited Canada to watch Montreal Impact play a Major League Soccer match at the Olympic Stadium… must be a Canadian thing and the match day experience is so much better for it !

McLennan Community College Highlanders v Ranger College Rangers

National Junior College Athletic Association

Division I

Region 5 Conference

Wednesday 8th February 2017

Tip Off 19.30

McLennan Community College Highlanders 66 Ranger College Rangers 68,  attendance 265

@ The Highlands Gymnasium

1400, College Drive

Waco, TX 76708

$2 Admission

Programme free, 4 pages.

Well, this one was certainly a surprise result, despite it being 1st v 3rd in Region 5 Conference. McLennan came into this with a perfect 24-0 winning record for the season and were ranked No.3 nationally in the most recent poll.

They scored the first point of the game from the free throw line, but then trailed for the next thirteen minutes, but gradually came back into it and held a narrow 33-31 lead at halftime. The lead was increased to 43-31 with 16 minutes left, but Ranger fought back gradually to level it up at 61-61 with 2 minutes 50 seconds left. Another score, quickly followed by a 3 pointer made it 61-66 with 1 minute 22 seconds left. McLennan replied with a 3 pointer of their own with 33 seconds left and levelled it up at 66-66 with 5.2 seconds on the clock and it looked like we would be heading into overtime. Incredibly, Ranger then won it with the winning basket right on the buzzer to leave the home crowd stunned.

This is more than likely my last game I will do as a resident of the U.S.A. and could be my last basketball game for a while, as I don’t think there will be much comparison in standard to that which is played in the U.K.

Another thing that certainly won’t compare when returning to ‘rip off’ Britain is the price of petrol. I filled the car up last night with unleaded fuel at $196.9 a GALLON ! In sterling, that is roughly £1.57, or just 35p per litre !!!

Navarro College Bulldogs v Kilgore College Rangers

National Junior College Athletic Association

Division I

Region 14 Conference

Saturday 4th February 2017

Tip Off 16.00

Navarro College Bulldogs 57 Kilgore College Rangers 51,  attendance 125

@ Wolens Special Events Center

3200, West 7th Avenue

Corsicana, TX 75110

No Admission

Programme free, 14 pages, Media Copy.

Eric McCollum scored a game-high 18 points for the Bulldogs, including six of the last eight inside the final 1 minute 51 seconds to end a five game losing streak. Davon Newton top scored for Rangers with 13 points.

Tyler Junior College Apaches v Navarro College Bulldogs

National Junior College Athletic Association

Division I

Region 14 Conference

Wednesday 1st February 2017

Tip Off 19.30

Tyler Junior College Apaches 84 Navarro College Bulldogs 64,  attendance 600

@ Wagstaff Gymnasium

1720, Apache Pass

Tyler, TX 75701

$3 Admission

Team Sheet, free.

No.10 ranked Tyler were far too strong for the visitors, this win taking them to an 18-2 record for the season. They led 49-29 at halftime and kept that margin for a comfortable win. At one stage during the second half, all five players on court for Tyler had scored double figure points.

It certainly didn’t feel much like February, as I set off east along I-20 in glorious sunshine and 81 degree temperatures. It was to be the last trip for the Camaro, as it is being sold tomorrow, in preparation for our return to the UK. One thing for certain, it will be a lot harder to pick the car out in a crowded car park from now on !

Jarvis Christian College Bulldogs v Paul Quinn College Tigers

National Association Intercollegiate Athletics

Red River Athletic Conference

Saturday 28th January 2017

Tip Off 19.30

Jarvis Christian College Bulldogs 93 Paul Quinn College Tigers 69,  attendance 210

@ E.W. Rand Center

Private Road 7630, off Jarvis Boulevard

Hawkins, TX, 75765

No admission or programme.

The 90 mile drive south from Paris was pretty straightforward, despite it being all single carriageway and the Camaro knocked 10 minutes off the estimated arrival time on the SatNav without breaking sweat. What I thought was 13 minutes to spare turned out to be 28, as once again the late finish of the women’s game caused our game to start late.

As stated at last weeks game involving Paul Quinn College, although they compete in the Red River Athletic Conference, their matches do not count towards the standings for the end of season play offs.

Bulldogs dominated from the start and led 37-26 at halftime. Deon Fisher top scored for them with 20 points. Tigers only had eight players, so tired considerably late in the game as a lack of rotation opportunities cost them dearly. In fact, Jalen Johnson actually played the entire 40 minutes for them, adding eleven points to the 19 from top scoring Blake Ervin. It could have been worse as Bulldogs actually had a lead of 29 at one stage.

Paris Junior College Dragons v Kilgore College Rangers

National Junior College Athletic Association

Division I

Region 14 Conference

Saturday 28th January 2017

Tip Off 16.00

Paris Junior College Dragons 68 Kilgore College Rangers 52,  attendance 225

@ Harold E. Hunt Center

South Collegiate Drive

Paris, TX 75460

$4 Admission

Programme free, 4 pages.

It was 32-31 at halftime, but with Kilgore only managing a pathetic 21 points in the second half, it was comfortable for Paris, with Abrian Edwards, Jordan Embry, Reggie Tharp and Darius Williams all into double figure points for them. Top scorer for Kilgore was Cheikh Diallo with 16 points.

Despite starting 10 minutes late, as, just for a change, the women’s game had overrun, it was all over by 5.40pm, which gave me a little bit of leaway to head south for a second game of the day.

East Central University Tigers v University Arkansas-Monticello Boll Weevils

National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II

Great American Conference

Thursday 26th January 2017

Tip Off 19.30

East Central University Tigers 100 University Arkansas-Monticello Boll Weevils 98,  attendance 724

@ Kerr Activities Center

1100, East 14th Street

Ada, OK 74820

$8 Admission

$1 Programme, 8 pages, double issue including Saturday 28th January.

This was 2nd v 1st in the Great American Conference, with the visitors ranked Number 18 nationally.

Tigers were led by Braxton  Reeves who scored 32 points and four assists. The Boll Weevils looked to be well in control, going up 2-13 early on, but Tigers had levelled it up to go in all square at halftime 52-52.

Tigers edged ahead and held the lead until the Boll Weevils tied it up at 91-91 with 3 minutes 45 seconds to play. Tigers ahead again by 96-91, but the lead cut back to 98-96 with a minute to play. Reeves then scored two crucial free throws with 7.8 seconds left, before the visitors scored again with the last shot of the match.

Cedar Valley College Suns v Eastfield College Harvesters

National Junior College Athletic Association

Division III

Region 5

Metro Athletic Conference

Wednesday 25th January 2017

Tip Off 19.00

Cedar Valley College Suns 94 Eastfield College Harvesters 109,  attendance 83

@ 3030, North Dallas Avenue

Lancaster, TX 75134

No admission or programme.

Cedar Valley were no match for Number 4 ranked Eastfield, despite 25 points from Eric Stewart and 23 points from JF Thomas Jr. as well as an impressive 20 rebounds. Eastfield had two players who combined for 60 points, according to the final scoreboard, although I have no idea who they were as no details have been posted by either the NJCAA website or that of Eastfield themselves.