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New imports suffer NBL thrashings

By Chris Pike
24 November 2013 09:10PM EST

THE two newest imports Sam Young and Mustapha Farrakhan have not had the welcome to the NBL they hoped with Sydney and Melbourne thrashed by Perth and Townsville on Sunday.

The NBA-experienced Young made his debut for the Sydney Kings at the Perth Arena and took part in a 98-55 annihilation at the hands of the Perth Wildcats while earlier on Sunday, the Townsville Crocodiles upset the Melbourne Tigers 90-75 at The Cage to ruin Farrakhan's debut as well.

The action on Sunday began in Melbourne with the Tigers coming off winning four of their last five games to be building some momentum on the back of the hot scoring form of Chris Goulding, but they weren’t able to continue against a Crocs team who had been struggling.

The Crocodiles came to Melbourne sitting on just a 2-5 record and having just lost in New Zealand to the Breakers on Friday, but they outplayed the Tigers all afternoon at The Cage to run out comfortable 15-point winners.

Import Josh Pace led the way for Townsville finishing with 18 points and six rebounds while point guard Steve Markovic added 15 points, four rebounds and four assists and a stunning half-court buzzer-beater on half-time to put the Crocs narrowly in front at the main break.

Peter Crawford also found his first form after an injury-interrupted start to the season with 11 points on the back of hitting 3-of-5 from downtown for the Crocs while Brian Conklin also added 11 points, Todd Blanchfield 10 and Jacob Holmes 10.

Melbourne would have been disappointed with its performance at home, though, to lose by 15 points and its new import Farrakhan certainly didn’t set the world on fire with just six points and three assists while shooting 3-of-11 from the field and 0-of-3 from three-point territory.

Goulding again top-scored for the Tigers with 25 points while hitting 4-of-8 from downtown.

Mark Worthington also had 14 points and six rebounds and Nate Tomlinson 13 to go with four assists for the Tigers.

The NBL Round 7 action then concluded at the Perth Arena as the Perth Wildcats romped to a 43-point thumping of the Sydney Kings in what is the biggest win for the Wildcats since the league moved to having 40-minute games.

Sydney made just 16 field goals for the game in an all-time NBL low while they also had just 24 rebounds to Perth's 44, six assists to 29 and shot a woeful 16-of-57 from the field.

On the other hand, Perth had a hot shooting night nailing 39-of-71 from the field at 55 per cent to ruin the debut of the well-credentialed Young for the Kings.

There was plenty of hype heading into the clash with 249-game NBA player Young making his debut for the Kings after replacing Jesse Sanders as the club's second import along with Charles Carmouche, but it was yet another horror day for Sydney against Perth.

It was always going to be interesting to see how the Wildcats responded to their first loss of the season after eight straight wins following Friday's loss in Adelaide, but Perth made yet another emphatic statement with the 98-55 win over Sydney.

The result means that Sydney is still yet to beat Perth in 13 attempts since re-entering the NBL for the 2010/11 season, and it was the Wildcats biggest win in the league since it went to 40-minute games overtaking 40-point wins over New Zealand and Wollongong.

The Wildcats dominated the contest from the outset shooting 55 per cent from the field, pulling in 20 more rebounds and dishing out 29 assists to just six.

James Ennis was guarded by Young for much of the night and got the better of that battle finishing with 18 points but Young showed some good signs for the Kings in 25 minutes scoring 14 points and pulling in four boards.

Young also laid a hard foul on Ennis when he was going up for a dunk in transition that was called an unsportsmanlike.

Matt Knight continues to build and had 16 points while Shawn Redhage added 14 (8 rebounds), Jermaine Beal 14, Jesse Wagstaff 12 and Greg Hire eight to go with 10 boards and five assists.

Damian Martin had a terrific all-round game with nine points, five assists, five steals and four rebounds.

Sydney made just 16-of-57 from the field shooting at 28 per cent with those 16 makes the lowest in NBL history.

Charles Carmouche was the import to survive at Sydney with the arrival of Young and top-scored with 15 points but he and the new import were the only Kings players to reach double-figures.

The Wildcats had already opened up a 10-point lead by quarter-time but it stretched out beyond 20 just before half-time as the crowd went into a frenzy on back to back plays that started with a huge dunk from Martin, and then a breakaway one straight after from Redhage.

Suddenly Perth's lead was out to almost 40 during the third quarter after going on a 19-2 run before the margin actually did stretch beyond 40 by the final buzzer.

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