21/04/2024

United captain Chris Goulding returned as the defending champions smashed the struggling Kings at John Cain Arena. (Photo: Melbourne United/Twitter)

Superstar guard Chris Goulding made his return to the NBL court as Melbourne United scored their first win of NBL22 in spectacular fashion.

Superstar guard Chris Goulding made his return to the NBL court as Melbourne United earned their first win of NBL22 in spectacular fashion.

Goulding had missed the first two games of the season, with United losing both to the Sydney Kings and South East Melbourne Phoenix. His return games started out spectacularly, though as Melbourne went on a 26-0 run to start the game.

He only contributed five points in that run, with his first field goal during the run coming from a deep shot as it rained threes at John Cain Arena. United ended the quarter with the biggest QT lead in NBL history (29 points).

The second quarter was a bit more of a struggle for the returning Goulding. He only added the three points, finishing with eight points in the half as Melbourne led 55-21 at the main break.

He continued to have some struggles in the third and the final quarter. Despite hitting the first bucket in the fourth, Goulding only had two points in the third and added none in the fourth as United went on to win by 42 points.

It was a solid night when it came to scoring for Goulding, and was United’s second top scorer. In the end he scored 13 points, shooting 4/10 (40 per cent) from the field and 3/8 (37.5 per cent) from three point range.

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Whilst it was a serviceable night for Goulding, it was a big night for new international teammate Caleb Agada. In his first start for Melbourne he scored 21 points, also acquiring seven rebounds and two assists.

Agada said post match that he felt more comfortable with Goulding out on the court.

“Everybody feels a lot more comfortable with CG [Chris Goulding] out there. What he brings to the team is so massive, everybody’s a lot more comfortable,” Agada said.

“We play better together as a team just knowing that our captain is there. He’s gonna do what it takes to win and we just got to take care of what we can take care of.”

Coach Dean Vickerman added that he was excited about what Agada and Goulding can do as a duo.

“We really believe that him and Chris can work together and I thought they did a good job of sharing their usage today and being smart basketballers.”

United will host the New Zealand Breakers in their next match on Sunday.

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