Mitch Creek, Adelaide 36ers two wins away from NBL championship

HORSHAM’S Mitch Creek and the Adelaide 36ers are two wins away from a National Basketball League championship.

The 36ers obliterated Melbourne 102-63 in game three of their semi-final series against the Tigers on Tuesday night to advance to the grand final series against the Perth Wildcats.

The grand final series is played in a best of best-of-three format, with a game on in Perth on Monday night.

The Wildcats have appeared in the past two grand final series, losing on both occasions to the New Zealand Breakers.

Perth was the benchmark of the league this season, with superstar James Ennis leading the team to a league-best 21-7 record.

Adelaide was a clear challenger for Perth all season, finishing 18-10.

The 36ers were challenged by Melbourne after a strong game one win, losing on the road to force a deciding game three.

Tigers scoring machine Chris Goulding was red hot in game two, but was held to just six points in the series decider.

The win was made more impressive by the fact Adelaide was missing American import Gary Ervin through suspension.

Creek, who finished with eight points, five rebounds and two assists in game three, said the team was pleased with its efforts.

“It was a great win, and we needed a win like that,” he said.

“If we’d played average and struggled and just won, it would have put the pressure on us going into the first game in Perth.

“Having a fantastic win like that against a quality side in Melbourne makes our lives a lot easier.”

Creek said he was happy with his form during the semi-final series, aggressively pressuring the Tigers on the defensive end of the court.

He said he would bring the same intensity to the grand final series.

“Ennis is going to be a key for them, and so is Damian Martin,” he said. 

“If we take them out of their rhythm like we did against Goulding and Mark Worthington, we’re going to be in a really good position coming into the series.”

Creek said any Wimmera residents interested in travelling to Adelaide to watch the 36ers in game two of the series could contact the club and he would try to arrange discounted tickets.

Game two will be at the Adelaide Arena at 7pm on April 11.

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