Practice pays off for determined Taipans

Cairns coach Mike Kelly is hoping his side can replicate their NBL win over Brisbane next week.
Cairns coach Mike Kelly is hoping his side can replicate their NBL win over Brisbane next week.

A hard week on the training court paid dividends for the Cairns Taipans on Saturday night and coach Mike Kelly will look to replicate that formula ahead of a NBL crucial double-header next weekend.

The 2-6 Snakes improved their record to 3-6 with a nine-point win against Queensland rivals Brisbane but can keep on improving that record with coming matches against Perth (home) and Illawarra (away).

"We had some really good individual performances but I just thought the group stood up as a group and fought," Kelly said.

"It was just good to see the training week translate into a good game.

"We talked all week about doing the little things well and keeping that going every possession, fighting through every possession. And they did that."

Those thoughts were echoed by star rookie Kouat Noi, who returned 20 points and 10 rebounds in a best-on-court display.

"It was a hard week of practice and it showed tonight," he said.

"I came out confident and the shots were dropping."

Bullets coach Andrej Lemanis rued his side's slow starts.

"We have got to start quarters with a better intent," he said.

"To start the first, second and third quarter ... the plus/minus was 24 points for them and three points for us until we made a sub. Obviously that's not a great stat."

After scoring the first field goal of the game it was quickly downhill for Brisbane as the Taipans went on a 15-0 run to lead 16-3 after just four minutes.

Despite the Bullets boasting a superior win/loss record, the Snakes have largely enjoyed bragging rights over Brisbane in recent times.

The Taipans have beaten the Bullets four of their past six encounters.

"For whatever reason, we haven't shot the ball well in Cairns over the last two seasons," Lemanis said.

The Boomers coach wasn't helped by star import Lamar Patterson, who scored 4/15 from the field as his team shot just 40 per cent for the game.

Australian Associated Press