36ers rain on Bogut’s NBL de­but

Sunday Tasmanian - - Sport - MATT LOGUE

THE stage was set for a fairy­tale NBL de­but for An­drew Bogut but the mis­fir­ing Syd­ney Kings failed to ex­e­cute to­wards the end of the game as they fell to Ade­laide.

The Kings were per­fectly placed lead­ing by six points with six min­utes re­main­ing be­fore they crashed, evok­ing for­get­table mem­o­ries of the old Vi­o­let Crum­bles days.

Ade­laide went on a 19-2 run in the fourth quar­ter to claim a nine-point win and con­tinue its dom­i­na­tion over Syd­ney.

The 36ers have now won 10 straight matches against the Kings, in­clud­ing 14 of their past 15 clashes.

Syd­ney coach An­drew Gaze was bit­terly dis­ap­pointed with the re­sult, shoul­der­ing blame for the loss.

Gaze con­ceded he should have given star guard Jerome Ran­dle, who fin­ished with a game-high 28 points, more rest to freshen him up down the stretch.

“That is one of the re­grets I have, not find­ing a few more min­utes for Jerome on the bench,” Gaze lamented post­match.

“In hind­sight, I prob­a­bly played him too long and he needed a spell.

“He might have had a few more legs for us in that last quar­ter.

“We fell into a game style where we were re­ly­ing on that bril­liance and we went all in on that and it didn’t work.

“So it was a mis­take and I take re­spon­si­bil­ity for that.

“I should have made some changes but I wasn’t able to get that done. The guys can also shoot a lot bet­ter than what they did and a lot of that is on me to help them get bet­ter looks.

“So the coach can wear a fair bit of re­spon­si­bil­ity for the game.”

Gaze was par­tic­u­larly con­cerned with Syd­ney’s sub­stan­dard de­fence in the fourth quar­ter.

The Kings leaked 30 points as the 36ers made easy buck­ets to cruise to a com­fort­able win.

Gaze ad­mit­ted his side must be bet­ter on the de­fen­sive end. “We got ex­posed,” he said. “Down the stretch, the ease in which they were able to score was a con­cern.

“They also got too many of­fen­sive boards.

“It also comes down to putting the ball in the hole and we had some shots that we’d nor­mally make.

“But to give up a 30-point last quar­ter, it was a very sig­nif­i­cant last quar­ter and a bad patch of bas­ket­ball that cost us dearly.”

It was sup­posed to be all about An­drew Bogut’s his­toric NBL de­but but Ran­dle stole the show for Syd­ney.

On a day when he de­clared his cham­pi­onship am­bi­tion, the diminu­tive play­maker de­liv­ered on his word with a scin­til­lat­ing dis­play.

The Chicago-born guard also ral­lied his team­mates with some choice words in the post-game hud­dle.

Kings for­ward Daniel Kick­ert said Ran­dle’s mes­sage was sim­ple.

“It was ba­si­cally to just stick to­gether,” Kick­ert said.

Pic­ture: BRETT COSTELLO

CRASH: The Syd­ney Kings’ An­drew Bogut shoots against the Ade­laide 36ers at Qu­dos Bank Arena at Home­bush yes­ter­day.

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