With the historical win against the Phoenix Suns in the NBL x NBA tour, the Adelaide 36ers have gone from one of the top four fancies to championship heavyweights overnight. The team also sees it this way as they prepare to become the hunted in their first game of NBL23.
The whole sporting world was put on notice on Monday when the Adelaide 36ers took home the first ever win by an NBL team in an NBL x NBA tour in the win against the Suns. Already highly rated before the tour began, the team has been put into the sunlight even more so.
Speaking to the media ahead of the 36ers’ first game against the Tasmania JackJumpers on Thursday night, Robert Franks says the team is embracing the hype.
“For our team to go out there and obviously play against the best in the world and go toe-to-toe and to come out on the winning side, I think everything we got, we deserved [and] now it’s just to continue to make history this year and bring the championship to Adelaide,” Franks said.
“[For us], it’s the championship or bust, you know for us to go out and beat them and to kind of be in control of that whole game, it shows how great this team will be.
“Going over there and winning a game and winning history but the whole trip in general has been great from the team camaraderie playing against high level talent so I would say it’s a successful trip.”
Next up for Adelaide is the scintillating match-up between the JackJumpers and the 36ers that is set to open their NBL23 campaign. Coming off second-best against the Sydney Kings in the finals series, the JackJumpers are another team expected to feature in the finals.
Franks speaks about how the team is feeling after travelling back from the United States over the weekend and how confident they are about the clash.
“I think our confidence wavers but I think we were all highly confident going into the Suns game and going into any game in the NBL,” he said.
“The team is in high spirits, we can’t wait for our season opener on Thursday night, we just got back yesterday so everybody’s gonna be a little tired and a little jet-lagged, it just about trying to get through the next couple of days.
When looking at his own form ahead of the season, Franks is in great nick putting up solid performances against the Suns and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
In the lost to the Thunder, Franks put up 20 points, seven rebounds, two steals and one assist, while against the Suns he amassed 32 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals.
He reflected his role for the team and how he sees his relationship with head coach CJ Bruton who is entering his second year as coach and first full year at the helm.
“[I’ll] just continue to show my versatility and my play-making and how I can make my teammates better and it’s about making this team better.”
“He’s a good man, ever since he called me till now, he’s [been] a player’s coach, he gets it but he also holds us accountable at the same time, CJ is awesome.”
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