By BACT Media Unit – 13 September 2022

Our Canberra Gunners ventured down to Melbourne on the weekend – 9-11 September, to take on the “best of the best” at the Coles Express NBL1 National Finals. The National Finals drew the NBL1 Conference winners, as well as the NBL1 Wildcard winners, together for a massive weekend of Australian hoops at the State Sports Centre.

Day One – Canberra Gunners vs Frankston Blues

First up for the Gunners were the NBL1 Wildcard winners, the Frankston Blues on Friday 9 September.

The Gunners started stronger in the first half, taking a 45-32 lead into the main break. The Blues came out firing in the third quarter to chip away the Gunners lead, before a big final quarter, saw them surge home to take it down to the wire. The Gunners toiled hard to disruypt the Blues flow, but ultimately fell just short – going down 86-89.

Stats leaders for the Gunners were – Glenn Morison (22 pts/6 rebs), Dhal Fieg (18 pts/5 rebs/3 asts) and Will mayfield (16 pts/7 rebs).

Day Two – Canberra Gunners vs Gold Coast Rollers

Day two – Saturday 10 September – saw the Canberra Gunners back up to face the NBL1 North champions, the Gold Coast Rollers.

Once again the Gunners started the stronger, with a healthy 18 point lead banked at the end of the first quarter. While the Rollers outscored the Gunners in the second, our stars still held a 56-40 lead heading into half-time. The Rollers continued to look to erase the lead with strong scoring in the 3rd and 4th quarters, but the Gunners were able to keep pace, and close out the game with a 10 point victory – 101-91.

Five players scored in double figures for the Gunners, with James Toohey (21 pts/7 rebs), Akech Aliir (19 pts/6 rebs) and Glenn Morison (17 pts/13 rebs) leading the way.,

Day Three – Canberra Gunners vs Hobart Chargers

With their NBL1 National Finals record at 1-1, the Canberra Gunners went into Day Three (Sunday – 11 September) looking to finish with a winning record against the Hobart Chargers.

The Gunners were all business against the winless Chargers, taking the lead at every break. The Gunners were in total command and ran out winners – 93-72.

Will Mayfield (20 pts/4 asts), Glenn Morison (15 pts/10 rebs/3 stls/3 blks) and Dhal Fieg (11 pts) were the stats leaders for the Gunners, in a solid team effort.

While the Gunners didn’t take out the National Championships, they certainly made a mark at the end of season tournament.

Congratulations to Dhal Fieg, who was named on the Coles Express NBL1 National Finals All-Star 5.

(Game Photos courtesy of Trent Moore/Ian Knight Photography)