01/03/2024
Trey Kell in the heritage jersey the 36ers will wear on Saturday. Picture: Adelaide 36ers Media

Trey Kell in the heritage jersey the 36ers will wear on Saturday. Picture: Adelaide 36ers Media

Five double-digit scorers see the Sixers dismantle a humdrum Kings unit in front of an all-time record crowd.

2024 could not have started any better for an Adelaide squad that has had little to cheer for so far this NBL season. The Sixers are undefeated in 2024, as they have now won two on the trot, downing the Kings 95-82 on Thursday night.

Fresh off an all-time upset vs the ladder-leading Melbourne United on Saturday, a wave of confidence has well and truly swung the momentum of a 36ers team on a journey to avoid the wooden spoon.

A newfound sense of swagger has rejuvenated Scott Ninnis’ squad, whose positive approach to coaching is refreshing for a team looking to shake it up.

Trey Kell lll was without a doubt the most dominant player on the court, evident through his 27 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists. Diving deeper into the stats exemplifies Kell’s impact as his 50 per cent from beyond the arch, ten drawn fouls and +17 Plus/Minus score were pivotal.

Isaac Humphries (18 points, 12 rebounds), Dejan Vasiljevic (12 points, eight assists), and Jacob Wiley (13 points, seven rebounds) all played to their strengths and contributed when the team needed them to do so.

An effervescent second term from Sunday Dech included the first four 36er buckets for the quarter, tallying nine straight points. His sixteen minutes of court time proved invaluable as his thirteen points off the bench made him the fifth 36er with double-digit points.

Injected early due to foul trouble, the athletic Kyrin Galloway reaped the benefits of opportunity and was a force to be reckoned with on the defensive end. So much so that postgame, Kell praised Galloway as a particular individual who stood out on the defensively: “KG came in and gave us some really good minutes, at the rim blocking a lot of shots, making them miss some layups.”

It was a family affair as Kyrin took on brother Jaylin in what was his first time being victorious in the sibling battle. His three blocks, including a LeBron-like chasedown, undoubtedly contributed to the victory.

Although a disappointing night for Sydney, Jaylen Adams showed why he was once a league MVP, as his twenty points single-handedly avoided a blowout of much larger proportions.

Gallant in defeat, Kouat Noi chipped in where he could and gifted viewers with a lethal last-quarter posterior, jamming all over Humphries in what was one of the dunks of the year.

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When asked about what needs to change in order to turn it around, NBA draft hopeful Alex Toohey pinned effort as a primary concern, “it’s one we’ve always got to be on, every possession making sure we’re giving it everything we’ve got, and those possessions add up.”

Staying motivated during a losing stretch can be hard, however Toohey highlighted the importance of “making sure we’re looking after everyone, making sure everyone’s alright mentally, physically; making sure we’re sticking together during this tough time and making sure we have each other’s back and look after each other.”

“I’m not worried about who we’re playing I’m worried about us” replied Kings Coach Mahmoud Abdelfattah in response to his message for the group heading into a potentially season-defying matchup versus New Zealand.

Abdelfattah believes that in order to turn in around, the Kings just have to “play with confidence, have fun, and enjoy what we’re doing.”

A whopping 9,580 fans flooded to Brett Maher Court in what was the 36ers fourth consecutive sell-out and biggest crowd in history.

It’s been a historical week for Adelaide hoops, and Kell was thankful for the fans, claiming, “They were really big for us, any time we had any kind of momentum, any big play, just that extra jolt of energy just gets everybody fired up, the crowds have been great and we really appreciate that.”

The “We want Flowers” chants reverberated around the Adelaide Entertainment Centre as Next Star Trentyn Flowers was out due to a knee knock.

Coach Ninnis confirmed, “he’s gonna miss this weekend; he’s got a big few months ahead of him when he goes back to the States, putting himself in front of NBA scouts, so we’re on the side of caution”.

The 36ers take on the Taipans in Cairns on Saturday night and will look to continue their newfound form. Meanwhile, the Kings must return to their winning ways versus the Breakers at home on Sunday.

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