News Article

Championship Series Game 5 Preview

29 Mar
7 mins read


Melbourne United V Tasmania JackJumpers

Championship Series Game 5

Sunday March 31, 4.00pm tip-off AEDT

John Cain Arena

Watch LIVE and FREE on ESPN via Kayo Sports & Foxtel


State of Play

It all comes down to this. 36 games for the JackJumpers in NBL24, and now it all hedges on the ultimate decider at John Cain Arena on Easter Sunday. 

After what has been nothing short of an epic Championship Series, the JackJumpers will head on the road one last time with the belief they can bring home the franchise’s inaugural NBL title. 

Tassie fell agonisingly short in what could have been a home Championship title in Game 4, with some missed shots and a costly turnover seeing the prize slip from their grasp.

But they’ll regroup ahead of Sunday and go into the game with the mindset where they have found some of their best form – back’s against the wall, the underdog, and desperate to make Tasmania and themselves proud. 

Game 5 will be in front of a packed house at John Cain Arena, with the Tasmanian away team ticket allocation selling out in just 5 minutes and a completely sold out Arena set to witness history unfold.


Last time they met  


TASMANIA JACKJUMPERS 86 (McVeigh 28, Crawford 14, Doyle 14, Macdonald 14)

MELBOURNE UNITED 88 (Clark 18, Goulding 17, Travers 17, Dellavedova 15)

The five-games series is tied at 2-2. 

Melbourne United held their nerve at Hobart's MyState Bank Arena, with Matthew Dellavedova sinking the deciding shot.

Melbourne United have sent the NBL championship series to a deciding game, with a nail-biting 88-86 win over the Tasmania JackJumpers in enemy territory.

Trailing 2-1 in the best-of-five series, United held their nerve at Hobart's MyState Bank Arena on Thursday night with Matthew Dellavedova sinking the deciding shot with 11 seconds on the clock.

Tasmania had a possession on the attack in the dying seconds but turned the ball over with United's Ian Clark getting to the free-throw line to seal the deal.



Game 1
Melbourne emerged as 23-point winners from the Championship Series opener, in a game where Tasmania looked competitive in the first quarter but buckled under United’s defensive pressure as the game wore on.

Jo Lual-Acuil Jr was named Foot Locker Player of the Game for his dominant performance inside, while Chris Goulding his six threes en route to a game-high 22 points.

Luke Travers has been near-universally praised for his defensive performance on Jack McVeigh, and ended the game with four blocks.

Will Magnay played just 13 minutes due to picking up four fouls over his short time on court, while Anthony Drmic top scored for Tasmania with 18 points.

Jordon Crawford’s poor run of shooting form continued, and he finished the game with seven points on 3-13 shooting.


Game 2
Tasmania travelled back to MyState Bank Arena to defend the island in Game 2 of the Championship Series, and a surging comeback from a 15-point deficit saw the JackJumpers emerge from Friday’s clash with a hard-fought and emotional five-point win.

Jordon Crawford shot the lights out in the first quarter with 13 points in the opening term alone, but quietened late and remained sat on the bench in favour of Sean Macdonald down the stretch.

Only Milton Doyle and Jack McVeigh ended the game having played more minutes than Macdonald for Tasmania, and the development player added 13 points and a staunch rearguard action in the win.

Melbourne found itself in foul trouble in the second half, and all three of Jo Lual-Acuil Jr, Shea Ili and Ian Clark fouled out of the game, while Matthew Dellavedova and Chris Goulding ended the clash with three fouls apiece.

Ili was the game’s top scorer with 20 points, while Goulding ended the clash with 19.

Melbourne scored just 14 points in the final term as the top-seeded side wilted under the defensive pressure imparted by the JackJumpers in the late stages of the game.


Game 3
Melbourne United continued their run of leading for most of the game but stumbling at the final hurdle in Game 3, as a near-half court Jack McVeigh game-winner flipped the series into Tasmania’s hands.

United has, at this point, been in the leading position for 77 per cent of the series, but fell to comeback defeats in games two and three.

Majok Deng hailed himself as ‘the forgotten one’ following his stellar fourth quarter performance in the victory. He scored 15 points in the final term alone as Marcus Lee exited the game with an apparent knee injury.

Matthew Dellavedova top scored for United with 21 points and eight assists, while McVeigh’s last gasp triple saw him lead the JackJumpers with 18 points.

Marcus Lee was ruled out of the remainder of the Championship Series due to injury in the aftermath of the game.


Game 4

United silenced the Tasmanian crowd, snatching the game inside the last minute with some desperate play.

In a game where neither side could pull away, seeing 14 lead changes and no greater margin than 7 at any stage, Tasmania was poised to claim the title but let it slip in the final seconds.

Jack McVeigh starred for the home side with 28 points, while Milton Doyle struggled to find range for most of the game before hitting the highlight reel in the last quarter.

Ian Clark led  the scoresheet for United, aided by Chris Goulding and Luke Travers, however there is some injury concerns around the latter two with both looking ginger at stages through the game.


SRT Logistics Coaches’ take

Head Coach Scott Roth said “No one expected us to be sitting here to begin with. Three years ago no one thought we’d be sitting here, two years ago no one thought we’d be sitting here, and now we’re here again.

“We’re in Game 5, and we earned the right to get to Game 5 because we won on their floor. We’re full steam ahead.”


Ins & outs 

Tasmania JackJumpers: Marcus Lee will miss the Game after suffering a knee injury in Game 3.  

Melbourne United: TBC


Opponents on the Radar

Ian Clark starred in the Game 4 victory for Melbourne with 18 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists, and iced the cake with two clutch free throws in the dying seconds


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