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    Shaun Bruce.

Shaun Bruce pivotal in NBL series win

As National Basketball League players take some time off after the 2021-22 season, a Wimmera basketball stalwart has reflected on finals efforts of a home-grown talent.

Former Horsham basketball figurehead Owen Hughan emphasised Sydney Kings guard and former Horsham Hornet basketballer Shaun Bruce’s ‘all-round talent’ was pivotal in the Kings’ final championship game win against Tasmania JumpJacks. 

Mr Hughan said Bruce, who re-signed for another two years with the Kings this week, was a main reason for the Kings’ win and he believed the side might have lost its championship series if Bruce was not on the team. 

“Sydney Kings could have easily lost two of its three eventual series wins if Bruce had not played,” he said.

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“He was able to get them to move the ball around and not allow the JumpJacks to pin his team one-on-one.”

Mr Hughan said Bruce’s eight final-game assists allowed the Kings to evade the JumpJacks defensive pressure and his all-round and team- focused abilities remained vital to the Kings’ future championship defence. 

“His passing was outstanding and was so important. Because if you can’t hit that team-mate who is out in the open, it builds pressure on everyone else. He is the definition of a good player – someone who comes on and makes everyone else around them better,” he said. 

“Well-rounded players, who don’t base their game around one aspect, are less likely to have a holistically bad game. For Bruce, there was always more to his game than how many points he scored.”

Creek re-signs

Mr Hughan also acknowledged the efforts of Mitch Creek, who won his second Most Valuable Player award for NBL team South East Melbourne Phoenix at the end of this season. 

Creek re-signed with the Phoenix last week, extending his contract for another three years.

Creek, 30, expressed his desire to stay in the Heartland and finish the job he started in the club’s inaugural year.

The entire May 25, 2022 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

The entire May 25, 2022 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!