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Taipans coach hungry for more victories

Cairns Taipans coach Mike Kelly wants his side to keep their momentum rolling after a drought-breaking win against Brisbane

Taipans coach hungry for more victories

Cairns Taipans coach Mike Kelly wants his side to keep their momentum rolling after a drought-breaking win against Brisbane

Cairns Taipans head coach MIKE KELLY looks on during the NBL match between the Cairns Taipans and the New Zealand Breakers at Cairns Convention Centre in Cairns, Australia.
Cairns Taipans head coach MIKE KELLY looks on during the NBL match between the Cairns Taipans and the New Zealand Breakers at Cairns Convention Centre in Cairns, Australia. Picture:Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images

A relieved Mike Kelly hopes a drought-breaking NBL victory will result in a flood of victories for his fledgling Cairns side.

Since taking the reins of the Taipans in the off-season, Kelly had yet to win a home game before Thursday night's 109-80 victory against Brisbane at the Cairns Convention Centre.


The Taipans registered their only victory of the season - also against the Bullets - in round one in Brisbane.

It took Kelly 14 losses and a rematch with their Queensland rivals to register a second victory and one on the home court.

The former NBL finals MVP said he knew things would turn for his group after a series of tough losses.

"Whenever we go into a game I feel good about us and our preparation and the way the guys have trained - for the most part," he said.

"That's not to say I think we're going to win every time, even though I always have felt like that growing up - through my playing and coaching days.

"But (confidence) can chip away a little bit when you start losing game after game, even after you play well at times."

Kelly said he hoped his side would keep the momentum building ahead of another home clash on Monday night against the ladder-leading Sydney Kings.

"When you start making shots you feel better and then you make more shots," he said.

The rise of rookie import Devon Hall proved to be crucial in the win against Brisbane.

Hall had struggled to find his range throughout the season, shooting at just 34 per cent from the field and 28 per cent from the perimeter.

On Thursday night, he clicked.The former Oklahoma City Thunder-listed guard went 8/10 from the field and 6/8 from deep.

Kelly praised the 23-year-old's work ethic."Devon has had his struggles but he hasn't stopped working and I knew this was going to happen for him," he said.

The coach also praised Jarrod Kenny, who came off the bench in the opening quarter to shoot eight points in quick succession and fire the Taipans into action.

"I thought Jarrod came in and kind of set the tone and then it just flowed, shooting-wise," Kelly said.

While finals are out of the equation, Cairns will be hoping to cause some upsets along the way in the run home.Kelly's gang can start on Monday night with a win against the Kings.

AAP


AAP




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