Kings seek minor premiership - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kings seek minor premiership

14/02/2005 06:08:49 AM Comments (0)

Just 12 months after reaching the grand final, West Sydney has been left on the NBL playoff scrap-heap after Hunter secured its first finals berth with a double overtime triumph over Wollongong.

All that remains to be decided in the last week of the regular season is the make-up of the top eight after Sunday's 140-135 victory guaranteed the second-year Pirates their first taste of playoff basketball.

Former championship-winning guard Kavossy Franklin poured in a career-high 45 points as Hunter (8th; 14-17), who won just two games last year, seriously dented Wollongong's chances of an inaugural minor premiership.

West Sydney (9th; 11-19) had kept its faint playoff hopes alive with a 117-95 win over the Hawks on Friday, but its fate was decided without bouncing a ball.

Sydney (1st; 20-10), who defeated the Razorbacks last year to win its second straight title, took full advantage of Wollongong's two straight losses as it targets a third consecutive minor premiership.

The Hawks (2nd; 19-12) were in the driving seat following a 95-93 away victory over Sydney on Wednesday, but the Kings regained the ascendancy over the weekend.

A 118-113 victory over Hunter on Friday gave coach Brian Goorjian his 400th NBL win, before Sydney shut down Melbourne's offensive game in a crucial 96-74 home triumph.

The Hawks now need to beat Sydney at home next Friday and hope the Kings lose to West Sydney the following day if they are to earn a first minor premiership.

Goorjian was ecstatic with his team's defensive effort against the Tigers.

"I thought we played better than we've played all year as a team," Goorjian said.

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