13/04/2024

Scott Roth. (Photo: Tasmania JackJumpers/X)

Tasmania JackJumpers head coach, Scott Roth spoke very highly of Melbourne United following a thrilling five-game series which resulted in a maiden NBL title for the JackJumpers.

Despite some back and forth between Roth and Dean Vickerman throughout the series, Roth commended Melbourne United as an organisation for their strong season and being the benchmark of the competition.

“They’re a model for us that we’ve been trying to build around and chase them, particularly this year,” he said.

“They’re great pros, a great organisation, great fans here and it takes two to tango.

“What a battle it was and unfortunately someone had to come out on the short end, but I love you Dean and your group, appreciate you guys very much.”

Melbourne United finished on top of the ladder following the home and away season with an impressive season record of 20-8 while Tassie finished third with 16-12.

You only have to look as far as the NBL24 awards to see how strong United are as a club. Among the Melbourne camp was the Coach of the Year (Dean Vickerman), Runner-up MVP (Chris Goulding), Best Sixth Man (Ian Clark), Defensive Player of the Year (Shea Ili) and Runner-up Next Generation Award (Luke Travers). While exciting big man, Jo Lual-Acuil made the All-NBL second team.

Scott Roth gets showered following the team’s victory. (Photo: Tasmania JackJumpers/X)

The JackJumpers also have their firepower but came into the post-season as major underdogs to go all the way. They knocked off Illawarra Hawks in the seeding qualifier before they successfully defeated the two teams that were widely regarded as the best in the competition. They dealt with Perth Wildcats 2-1 and then Melbourne 3-2 in an incredible finals series that basketball fans across the country will never forget.

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There were plenty of moments throughout the series where it looked as though the formidable United side had done enough to win, but the JackJumpers fought until the final buzzer time and time again. Roth added that just a few key moments were all that separated the two teams as four of the games came down to the wire.

“I definitely want to make sure that we respect the fact that United is an incredible team, fantastically coached (and has) great players over there,” he said.

“These last four games came down to a few possessions here and there.

“I couldn’t be more proud of this group … our guys stayed resilient when it looked like they might throw a knockout punch.”

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