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  • Taipans score big in annual NBL Awards as focus turns to finals


    The Cairns Taipans took a moment to celebrate their newly crowned NBL Award winners last night... but only briefly.

    In a huge coup for the club just one season after collecting the wooden spoon, Taipans coach Mike Kelly was named Coach of the Year in a landslide win, polling a massive 26 votes ahead of Sydney Kings coach Will Weaver.

    DJ Newbill won best defensive player and Scott Machado picked up the fan's award for MVP.

    Kouat Noi narrowly missed out on Rookie on the Year, finishing just 5 votes behind superstar import LaMello Ball, while Machado made the All NBL first time and Newbill and Cam Oliver were included in the All NBL second team.

    Taipans players and coaches took some time to revel in the accolades at the gala awards ceremony in Melbourne last night, but their focus is already firmly fixed on the first semi-home game against the Perth Wildcats.

    Taking place over in Perth on February 28, the team must bounce back from two losses in its final two games of the regular season to take on the NBL's reigning champions. The Taipans have a winning 2-1 record against the Wildcats this season, including a huge 23-point win over in Perth back in October. 

    SCROLL DOWN TO SEE THE SEMI-FINAL SCHEDULE AND MIKE KELLY'S ACCEPTANCE SPEECH



    SEMI-FINAL SCHEDULE

    GAME ONE
    Friday 28 February
    CQUniversity Cairns Taipans @ Perth Wildcats
    RAC Arena

    GAME TWO
    Sunday 1 March, 4:00pm
    CQUniversity Cairns Taipans v Perth Wildcats
    Cairns Convention Centre

    GAME THREE
    Thursday 5 March
    Perth Wildcats v Cairns Taipans (if required)
    RAC Arena