Pigs awake NBL's sleeping giant - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Pigs awake NBL's sleeping giant

By Laine Clark 05/04/2004 09:18:19 PM Comments (0)

The sleeping giant of the national basketball league is finally awake.

Kings coach Brian Goorjian believes a bruising last clash with arch rivals West Sydney was just what his side needed for their winner-takes-all NBL grand final game-five showdown with the Razorbacks on Tuesday night.

Despite claiming game one 96-76, the defending champion Kings were "running in their sleep" according to Goorjian as they fell behind 2-1, giving West Sydney the chance to seal a maiden NBL title with victory in game four on Sunday night.

But the Kings came roaring back to life, ending West Sydney's perfect 8-0 home finals record to seal a thrilling 82-77 win and send the inaugural best-of-five grand final series into a decider.

Goorjian said the win in front of a sold-out West Sydney home crowd had provided a timely wake-up call for his side.

"In any other (best of three) finals series... we wouldn't have been playing (on Sunday night)," Goorjian said.

"We've got a second life in this format. Now we're breathing again and I know all the Kings fans are happy we are going to be on court on Tuesday night."

A physical game four exploded midway through the third quarter when Pigs forward Russell Hinder fouled CJ Bruton hard, prompting a heated altercation involving five players.

Goorjian said the incident invigorated the side.

"Everyone you talk to says we've been physically manhandled on the floor and we said we're not going to take that and that foul on CJ... I would have responded that way as well - I think he did the right thing," he said.

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