Taipans plan to strike against ex-skipper
BASKETBALL: Departed Taipans skipper Cameron Gliddon has been met with nothing but respect and applause ahead of his first meeting against his old club tonight.
New and old teammates showered praise on the shooting guard this week and were more than vindicated on Thursday night as he led his new club to a huge win on the road to start the campaign.
But if you wind the clock back to March, respect and applause were replaced with disappointment and confusion after he accepted an offer to join Brisbane without listening to an offer from the Taipans despite his six seasons with the Far North Queensland club.
“While disappointed that Gliddon did not afford the club an opportunity to present an offer, he did communicate a desire to change his environment after spending six years here,” Taipans chief executive Mark Beecroft said at the time.
After Gliddon’s off-season back surgery, Bullets high performance manager Mick Downer says the West Australian native feels like a new man.
“He has got a great reputation through the sport – he is a hard worker, smart player and good guy,” Downer said.
“He developed from being a young college kid coming back to Australia into a captain of a basketball club.
“He grew up as a man and as a pro player, overcoming some issues with his body too. He is in the prime of his career now.”
The man who replaced Gliddon as Cairns Taipans captain, Alex Loughton, cheekily pointed to the shooting guard’s recent back surgery to relieve a bulging disc issue.
“I have played a lot of basketball with Cam Gliddon, but it will be good fun and a challenge to play against him,” Loughton said.
“He will be looking to take it to his old team – we will certainly not be holding back.
“Hopefully a few back picks might loosen him up in the back court, but we will see how we go.”
LEADING THE WAY: Cameron Gliddon looks to offload during the Bullets’ round one NBL clash with the New Zealand Breakers in Auckland on Thursday night.