Taipans fired up following players meeting
Cairns players have shared honest criticism amongst themselves at a team meeting called this week following a disappointing month of basketball.
Cairns Taipans veterans have called a players only meeting to address a series of fourth quarter fadeouts ahead of a crucial home game against the New Zealand Breakers.
It’s understood the club’s senior players emphasised that despite currently being on the bottom of the NBL ladder, the squad can still make a strong push for the playoffs in the second half of the season.
Import Travis Trice says consecutive losses to Melbourne and Brisbane have galvanised the group.
“Guys aren’t in the dumps. I think guys are motivated,” Trice says.
“We’ve had a meeting yesterday and we kind of talked about the fact that we can only go up from here.
“The best way we can start this little road trip we’re about to go on is with a good home win.
“We talked about where we’re at right. Yes, we’re in last place but we’re also in a good spot being a few games out [of fourth place].
“We do a good job of playing three quarters and we usually don’t finish in the last.
“There have been a couple of times we’ve blown leads. Our thing is finishing the game [from now on].”
Seventh-placed New Zealand [8-10] fly into Cairns this week minus stars Corey Webster and Thomas Abercrombie but have added import Paul Carter to their lineup.
Guard Mitch McCarron says former NBL MVP Kirk Penney looms as a dangerous matchup.
“We’ve got to look out for Penney. He’s been playing really well of late,” he says.
“New Zealand have their backs up against the wall at the moment with a few injuries.
“We were disappointed with the way we played against Brisbane. But we’ve done a good job of moving on from tough losses and coming out with a good performance.”
The Taipans [7-10] have played New Zealand twice this year winning both encounters, including a 91-80 win in round eight.
Trice scored 31 points and dished out seven assists in that game but says it will mean nothing come Friday night.
“I try to approach every game like it’s a new one, with a fresh start,” he says.
“Hopefully I can duplicate some of what I did in the past but I really just want to get a win.
“Some guys have been playing well, some haven’t but we’ve just got to come out and play hard.”
Tip-off at the Cairns Convention Centre is at 6.30.