15/04/2024

Ryan Broekhoff (left) was instrumental in carrying the Phoenix to victory. (Photo: SE Melb Phoenix/Twitter)

Ryan Broekhoff had a first half to remember, while Trey Kell III, Gary Browne and Mitch Creek all played stood up in big moments, playing good team-oriented basketball to sink the Adelaide 36ers.

Shooting three from seven from the field and being a threat from the three-point line, shooting at 50 per cent, Broekhoff got the Phoenix going early.

South East Melbourne set itself up in the first half, having an eight-point lead at half time.

The Sixers stayed in the match in the second half though, getting stops on the defensive end and making runs in the second half.

Daniel Johnson, Anthony Drmic and Craig Randall II came up in clutch moments, taking the game to overtime, but crucial mistakes and turnovers allowed the Phoenix to win.

Speaking to media post game, Phoenix coach Simon Mitchell spoke about the end of the match and his thoughts on getting over the line after a strong first half.  

“The guys certainly dug in deep,” he said.

“I thought we had a chance at the end of regulation to close that one out. There’s a few fumble balls and poor decisions to find ourselves in overtime.

“Kell in the back end of the fourth quarter and overtime was exceptional.”

Kell finished the game with 24 points, five rebounds, four assists, one steal, shooting at 52.6 per cent from the field.

Mitchell spoke about how much the win and how much confidence it gives the team in being able to close tight matches.

“It’s about getting that familiarity on the floor. We’ve been a bit lucky and had some close wins, but at the same time, you build a bit of luck,” the coach said.

“Our history has not been graced with a lot of composure, we’ve coughed those ones up. It’s nice to secure those ones and secure three wins in a row.”

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Guard Trey Kell III spoke about his breakout performance after a growth start to the season.

“It’s simple as taking a shot, I couldn’t make a shot and I was struggling a little bit,” he explained.

“Credit to the team, I was very frustrated today [in this match]. I’m having great looks but not making them.

“Today, everyone told me to keep shooting, keep shooting. Once I made one, it felt good and I got rolling. I knew I was capable, if I can make a shot and follow it in.”

Kell spoke about the confidence that he has in himself playing alongside the team’s leaders, and how this helps him to step up.

“We’re a very close group off the court. It’s very easy on the court to have that trust in your teammates,” he said.

“We have plenty of guys that are capable of carrying the load for any night. In plenty of games it’s been Mitch [Creek], Alan Williams, Gary [Browne] has been huge for us since he came back, and I was able to finally help.”

Mitchell spoke about the impact Broekhoff made and the big moments of stepping up.

“There’s a lot of guys who can get the job done and Ryan picked his moments beautifully in this match,” the coach said.

“We just have to make sure that Ryan’s confidence continues to grow, he clearly has it in his body, which is great. It’s good to see him shoot the ball well, it’s been a while.”

With key pieces coming back into the lineup and the Phoenix getting back on track, Mitchell spoke about where the team is at now.

“These guys have clicked and it’s a credit to them. It’s a testament of the IQ of these guys and the willingness to sacrifice their personal game for their teammates.”

Kell gave his thoughts on the form of the group and knowing the roles the past few weeks.

“We knew we were capable of this. It’s unusual how fast we clicked together, but it’s a testament to how we get along with each other off the court,” he said.

“It goes back to going with whatever it is working.”

The Phoenix will be looking to continue their winning streak, when they face Melbourne United on Sunday afternoon in Round 6.

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