The Northern Territory news Sat 22 Sep 2018
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News Corp Australia
74 SPORT SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 22 2018 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 take on opposite, Essingtons Deola DBrown. The battle between the two will be highly entertaining for the big crowd expected to attend the Darwin Basketball Championship final tonight. It will also go a long way towards deciding the victorious team at the end of the evening. Were not going at each other to hurt each other, were just trying to bring out the best in each other, DBrown said. I love that about him because I always want to step up my game when Im playing against him, and he does too. Were looking forward to it. Hes definitely one of the most interesting competitors. Shack is extremely physi cal. I am as well. Were both big teams. DBrown and Shackleford share such a close bond largely because they can relate to each others rough upbringings. DBrown left his home city of Lagos in Nigeria at just 17 in order to escape the violence and robberies going on. Shackleford has an incred ible background story he grew up one of 25 siblings in the mean neighbourhood of Andrews in the city of Georgetown, South Carolina, choosing to sell drugs in a dog-eatdog environment. I really dont like to dwell on the past and the things that I went through, DBrown said. We both had rough child hoods. We have a lot of things which are alike, and both light poles attract. Shackleford now a mentor for troubled youth in Palmerston said this of DBrown: Were the same on the court very vocal and energetic. So its always a pleasure playing the guys who know and embrace the game. Best of mates off court: Brutal bigs look forward to challenge PEOPLE always think me and Deola hate each other, but we both just have that competitive nature and thats what you want. This was the fascinating insight Palmerston big man Willie Shackleford gave the NT News as he prepared to JOSH SPASARO IT has been a familiar theme this playoffs series. Uni Rebels have been heavy underdogs for both their postseason games versus Palmerston and Lightning, but prevailed on both occasions. Uni captain Chantelle Lee said her players have thrived on being underestimated. Underdog tag proves a winner for Uni ahead of grand final showdown No one ever pictured us to make the grand final, she said ahead of the womens Championship decider against Tracy Village tonight. But the girls have all worked so hard. Its been a privilege having them look up to me as captain. Ive been so proud of these girls over the past few weeks. Lee said her teammates had the utmost respect for her brother and Rebels coach, Brendan Lee. Hes been great. He drives the younger players to training and really has everyone believing in themselves, she said. Lee said tonights final between two fit teams promised to be an entertaining affair. Both teams play a strong running game, she said. selves, coach Lee said. Our mentality over the past couple of weeks has been to believe, and anything can happen in a grand final. Look at the Western Bulldogs (in 2016) in the footy: they came from eighth place to win the grand final. All these girls have played in a grand final, except for one. Its going to be a physical contest. Weve got a lot of young legs, so we can match their pace. These girls have already won grand finals in the under-16s and 18s this season. Rebels players were laughing with each other at training on Wednesday night. I told them to enjoy the moment and soak it in. Were a big family, Lee said. If our shooters and inside players play their roles, we should be competitive. Brendan Lees team looked relaxed at training this week but there was a quiet confidence, and no thoughts were directed to the last time both teams met, Jets prevailing 82-48 in Round 17. These girls are that good that they can coach them JOSH SPASARO DBrown plays up big treat for fans DEOLA DBrown is a born entertainer, as he showed in an amazing display with 33 points in last years Championship final. The Essington big man was a monster on the boards with his offensive and defensive rebounds, and memorable slam dunks in the Cannons 100-81 win over Uni Rebels. The big man had the big crowd gasping in wonder, and Top End basketball fans are in for another treat tonight. That is because DBrown has promised more fireworks in the 2018 Darwin Basketball Championship final against Palmerston. The last grand final was incredible. It was back and forth, and as a sports fan thats what you want to see, DBrown told the NT News. You want people to talk about it for years to come. Well definitely make sure well provide that. And we want to win. DBrown and playmaker Tobiasz Hose will provide Essington with the inside strength they need to beat a big team like Palmerston. But the Cannons also have no shortage of speed across the floor. Weve got size, so therell be a lot of bodies banging and a lot of clashes in the paint. Itll come down to who lasts longest in the fight, DBrown said. Gary (assistant coach Gary Shipway) is a great coach and we started off this season with the mindset of trying to be as fit as possible. We did a lot of fitness drills. That made us the fittest team in the league. We can definitely outrun and outlast everyone. Most of our games have been won in the fourth quarter. Hose (12 points) provided excellent support to DBrown and former NBL star Deba George (35 points) in last years final. He has taken on more responsibility in offence with George no longer there this year. Tobiasz is a gun. I think hes one of the best defensive guys in the league, DBrown said. And of course hell score; you cant stop him. Hes super athletic. Hes a gun. Well definitely be ready to go. JOSH SPASARO Tracy Village stalwart Tikesa Docherty-Cole will do all she can to help her team to a 13th straight title in the Darwin Basketball Championship League womens final tonight. Rebels captain Chantelle Lee said her team has a strong belief it can snap Jets amazing run of title victories 2018 DARWIN BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS
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