Kings roar into grand final - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kings roar into grand final

By James Dampney 30/03/2003 05:29:16 AM Comments (0)

The Sydney Kings are one step closer to removing Australian sport's biggest monkey from their backs and forever silencing their critics.

The long-time pretenders to basketball's throne reached their first NBL grand final with a 114-99 win over the Townsville Crocodiles at the Sydney Entertainment Centre.

Sydney will now meet the Perth Wildcats in the best-of-three grand final series.

Kings MVP contender Chris Williams (31 points, 18 rebounds) and captain Shane Heal (31 points) led the turnaround after Sydney had played poorly in game two to send the semi-final series into sudden death.

Having never made a decider since their inception in 1988 and once labelled Australia's worst sporting team, the Kings were too strong for the Crocodiles in game three and have finally broken their grand final duck.

Seemingly forever stuck with the underachiever tag after showing promise year after year only to capitulate time and again, this Sydney team has showed some long-overdue determination and has finally shaken the Violet Crumble moniker.

Heal, a King since 1996, was thrilled to help lead Sydney to the final but emphasised they hadn't achieved much yet.

"We're glad to be here and be part of the first team to make a grand final for the Kings," Heal said.

"It's a great honour and I'm sure we'll be disappointed to be the first team to lose a grand final."

Throughout the playoffs, coach Brian Goorjian has emphasised the importance of the first five minutes of every game and the Kings showed an urgency from the opening tip that had been missing in game two.

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