01/03/2024

Image: @JackJumpers/X

For the third time in as many seasons, the Tasmania JackJumpers are heading back to the post-season, with this season their best chance at winning their first NBL title.

The JackJumpers crashed the Phoenix’s 150-game celebration, dismantling the heavily depleted home team to cement their Finals spot with one round to go.

Tasmania has been consistent throughout its short three-year history in the NBL, finishing in the top four in all three seasons, and has set itself for its best chance for another Grand Final appearance and winning its first championship.

Post-game coach Scott Roth said he “couldn’t be prouder” of his group and that they still have plenty of areas to work on.

“We have work ahead of us and we [need to]continue to work on some things and get better in some areas, but the biggest thing is I’m super proud of this particular group,” Roth said.

“This is our third year in a row posting a winning season, I don’t think it’s ever been done [in] franchise expansion history with teams so for us to do that three years in a row in this type of league.

“It was a little choppy for us during the course of the season but to get 15 wins, super proud of them to finish in the top three is a fantastic effort to this group.”

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Roth has played a major role in the club’s success with his disciplined influence, but also the culture with the team’s imprint in the Tasmanian community. The 60-year-old shared his emotions on heading into another post-season.

“For me, it’s really about the players and franchise and where we’re at in how this thing has been built and to make sure the people of Tasmania are proud of this team and we’re defending the island,” he said.

“I got great assistant coaches, physio staff, and players that come to work. We practice quite hard during the week, [and] we don’t take days off, I push these guys to the limit during the week.

“I might look cool and calm in games for the most part, but the practices and what we expect from them during the week is no-nonsense and they’ve started to click here and there and we still have one big game ahead of us.”

Big man Marcus Lee will get to see his first minutes in the NBL playoffs after missing out last season with Melbourne United.

In regards to how far the JackJumpers can go, the 29-year-old said the team is taking it on a day-to-day basis.

“We have one thing on our mind and it’s a big goal and that’s what we’ve been thinking this whole time, and we have nothing else to do but keep winning,” he said.

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