South East Melbourne Phoenix have been relegated to fourth and can play minor premiers Melbourne United within the NBL semi-finals after a shock 94-84 loss to the Brisbane Bullets.
Brisbane gave Andrej Lemanis a becoming farewell at Nissan Area on Tuesday night time within the common season finale, upsetting the Phoenix within the Bullets coach’s final recreation earlier than he leaves for the Japanese league.
Phoenix may have completed third with a victory, reserving a better of three semi-final sequence in opposition to second-placed Perth Wildcats who shall be with out star import and reigning NBL MVP Bryce Cotton (leg) for the remainder of the season.
As a substitute, they face an ominous process of their maiden playoff marketing campaign in solely their second season.
They need to deal with minor premiers United in a knockout semi-final showdown in Sydney’s Qudos Financial institution Area beginning on Friday.
Illawarra Hawks completed third and can play the Wildcats beginning in Perth on Thursday.
Phoenix coach Simon Mitchell was simply joyful that his drained squad emerged unscathed and earned an additional day’s relaxation earlier than the semi-finals, beginning on Friday moderately than Thursday.
Locked out of Melbourne on account of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, the Phoenix (20-16 file) had performed in Cairns, New Zealand after which Brisbane within the final spherical alone and now head for Sydney.
“The precedence for us was to get by means of unscathed, be sure everybody bought a number of touches,” Mitchell stated.
“I’m tremendously pleased with the gamers. It has been a very tough season with a few additional hurdles to climb on prime of what everybody else has gone by means of.”
On derby rivals United, Mitchell stated: “We’ve got overwhelmed them twice however we’ve not seen one another with full squads so there’s a component of thriller on how we match up.”
“Sixth-placed Brisbane (18-18 file) had been knocked out of finals rivalry following Saturday’s one-point loss to Sydney Kings.
Nevertheless, they emerged on Tuesday night time with a fireplace within the stomach as former Boomers coach Lemanis drew the curtain on his NBL profession.
The three-time championship-winning mentor marked his a hundred and fiftieth recreation for Brisbane throughout 5 seasons, taking on the Bullets after they returned to the NBL in 2016.
Total the two-time Coach of the 12 months’s NBL profession whole was 408 video games (216 wins, 192 losses), transferring him to ninth on the all-time listing.
“With the finality of it there’s a tinge of unhappiness. The Bullets and the NBL have been a giant a part of my life,” Lemanis stated.
“However once I take a look at what lies forward…then you definately get enthusiastic about it.”
The Bullets had been led by NBL MVP candidate Nathan Sobey (16 factors, 11 rebounds) who completed because the league’s main level scorer for the common season with 758 whereas import Lamar Patterson had a game-high 19.
For Phoenix, Boomers duo Mitch Creek (16pts) and Ryan Broekhoff (14pts, 3-4 three factors taking pictures) stood up together with Ben Moore (16 boards).