Ti­tle hunt has great ring to it

The Cairns Post - - SPORT - GREG DAVIS

MEL­BOURNE United star Chris Gould­ing half-jokes that he should al­ready have an NBL cham­pi­onship ring to his name.

But there will be no need for any cheeky as­ter­isks on his re­sume if he helps guide United to vic­tory over the Ade­laide 36ers in the NBL grand fi­nal se­ries that starts to­mor­row night.

Gould­ing was a de­vel­op­ment player with the Bris­bane Bul­lets in 2006-07 when the club claimed the NBL ti­tle in em­phatic fash­ion.

Gould­ing played one game for the Bul­lets that sea­son as an en­thu­si­as­tic rookie when he trained ev­ery day along­side the likes of Sam Mackin­non, CJ Bru­ton and Mark Bradtke.

Fast for­ward 11 years and the Boomers guard is one of the faces of the NBL and a prime mover be­hind Mel­bourne’s jour­ney to the best-of-five de­cider against the 36ers.

“As I get a lit­tle older, I like to claim it,’’ Gould­ing laughs about the 2007 cham­pi­onship.

“It (win­ning a ti­tle) is some­thing that I think about a lot now that I’m ac­tu­ally in a po­si­tion to be able to do so.

“To be on a team where we gen­uinely have a chance to win it all, it’s a good feel­ing (but) it’s a lit­tle nerve-rack­ing just be­cause we are sit­ting around, wait­ing.

“It will be over a week in be­tween semi-fi­nal two and game one of a grand fi­nal … we want to play straight away and get into this se­ries.’’

Gould­ing said United coach Dean Vick­er­man trans­formed the cul­ture at the star-stud­ded Mel­bourne to the point that they prided them­selves on de­fence.

“There is never a sense of panic. If we get down, we un­der­stand there’s a lot of time on the clock,” he said.

Pic­ture: AAP

CON­TENDERS: Chris Gould­ing of Mel­bourne United is look­ing for­ward to the first game of the NBL grand fi­nal se­ries, against Ade­laide 36ers, to­mor­row night.

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