In case you missed it last night, the NBL turned on one of the most entertaining games in years with a four-overtime thriller.
Heavily-favoured Melbourne United emerged victorious 123-122 after a see-sawing emotional affair that featured clutch shots, exhausted players, strange decisions and enough drama to last throughout the weekend.
We're still coming to terms with what we witnessed last night..
— NBL (@NBL) October 12, 2018
Social media was buzzing during and after the game, only the second 4 OT game in league history.
— Tim Robinson (@timrobinsonfox) October 12, 2018
— Rob Sheeley (@robshots) October 12, 2018
— Tom Hersz (@tomhersz) October 12, 2018
United got its usual contributions from Josh Boone (24 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks despite cramp) and Chris Goulding (23 points and some unbelievably huge 3’s) as well as new men DJ Kennedy (21 and 9) and Mitch McCarron, whose fresh legs were instrumental in the late going.
Can we talk about this league!!?😳 What a season opener, both teams left everything on the floor. Bring on Sunday! #NBL19
— Mitch McCarron (@MitchMcCarron) October 12, 2018
As for Casper Ware, the electric point guard struggled at times offensively, but he played more minutes than anyone (nearly 56!), hit a couple of huge shots and saved the game with an incredible play on the defensive end.
— Liam Santamaria (@Liam_Santa) October 12, 2018
Illawarra were brave, getting an unreal performance from Todd Blanchfield (26 points and seven rebounds), while often lethargic AJ Ogilvy came alive with 15 points and an incredible 21 rebounds. Brian Conklin added 17 and 7 and sent the game to a second OT with a clutch jumper.
Man o man what a game! Came up a little short, but fought for 60 min! We will compete no questions about it. #HawkHeads great work, loving this homecourt. @MelbUnitedHQ hat tip let’s run it back in a few weeks. Glad to be back in an exciting @NBL #NBL19 is only just beginning.
— Brian Conklin (@BrianConklin14) October 12, 2018
It doesn’t get easier for the two spent teams now, with both fronting up on Sunday. Illawarra travel to Perth, while United are home to New Zealand.