Nathan Crosswell in action.
Nathan Crosswell in action. Getty

On target for title

THERE must be something in the water at Ballina because a five-day break over Christmas has rejuvenated Nathan Crosswell and had a flow-on effect on his Melbourne Tigers team-mates.

Crosswell took the opportunity to visit his parents in Ballina and the point guard returned to Melbourne to spark the Tigers on an 11-2 win-loss record in the run home to the play-offs.

A 2-0 semi-final series win over New Zealand has pushed the Tigers into their third National
Basketball League championship-decider in a row, where they will meet the South Dragons in game one of the series tonight at Hisense Arena.

The Tigers will go into the series as the defending champions, but will probably start as underdogs after losing three out of their four games against the Dragons this season.

“We finished the regular season with a 10-day break before we played New Zealand and those two games went by pretty quickly, so we’ve hardly had time to think about the grand final,” Crosswell said.

“For me it is pretty awesome to be playing in another grand final, because I had been playing in the league for eight or nine years and never got the opportunity to play in one until I came back to Melbourne.

“We lost that first one to Brisbane in four games, and were then lucky to beat Sydney in that sixth game last year, and it is hard to put into words that amazing feeling you get.

“To be with these guys, working so hard, you just love them, and to do it back-to-back would be pretty special.”

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