Kings still setting the pace - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kings still setting the pace

By James Dampney 09/11/2003 08:16:53 PM Comments (0)

Two things are clear after round six of the National Basketball League - it'll take something special to beat Sydney, but the 2003-04 championship is not a two-horse race.

After cruising through the early rounds of the season, the Kings faced a gruelling three games in five days in round six.

Sydney disposed of an under-manned Adelaide 113-98 at home on Wednesday and then had to travel north, facing Cairns on Saturday night and Townsville less than 24 hours later.

But the defending champion took it all in its considerable stride, winning both to set new club records for a start to a season (8-0) and overall winning streak (11), which included the last three games of 2002-03.

It doesn't get any easier for Sydney, however, in the NBL's disjointed schedule.

The Kings face Cairns at home on Wednesday to commence round seven and then must fly back to Townsville to again meet the Crocs the following Saturday.

Pre-season most critics had already predicted a Wollongong-Sydney grand final, with the deep Hawks line-up accounting for all opponents bar Sydney through round five.

That assessment appeared spot-on when the Hawks built a 16-point lead three minutes into the third term against Brisbane.

But the Bullets, despite playing Hunter Pirates the night before, stormed home to win comfortably 99-84 and demonstrate their championship credentials.

"It shows that we've got a lot of room for improvement," Hawks coach Brendan Joyce said after the loss.

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