Goulding takes major step in United NBL win

Melbourne United secured a fifth successive NBL win, beating the New Zealand Breakers 89-78 behind a score-telling night from marksman Chris Goulding.

Playing in an empty MyState Bank Arena in Hobart on Friday night, United (7-4) drowned out three quarters of the noise from the Breakers (1-7) to pull away in the final 10 minutes behind Goulding, who finished with 25 points .

The Boomers star passed the 5,000 NBL career point milestone before shifting into another gear in the fourth quarter to lead his team to victory.

At the start of the competition, it was all Jo Lual-Acuil whose inner presence and energy on the glass got the better of Breakers big man Yannick Wetzell, with United’s center scoring 22 points and 12 rebounds – his first ever 20 and 10 NBL game.

Melbourne coach Dean Vickerman said the duo of Goulding (50 per cent from beyond the arc) and Lual-Acuil were exceptional on a night when the Breakers’ defensive pressure kept the tight competition.

“He’s (Goulding) a two-time Championship winner, he’s our captain, there aren’t many more accolades you can give him,” he said.

“He likes to see perfection and if he doesn’t he’s ready to hold people accountable for how we do it, myself included.

“I thought Jo’s attack on the rim and sealing inside the paint was so effective tonight and again being an anchor for us at the defensive end and challenging things on the rim.”

United had plenty of second-chance opportunities throughout their dominance on the boards, doubling their opposition 50-25, including 14 on the attacking side.

Jeremiah Martin led the way for the Breakers on the bench 20 points behind on the 8/13 shot as their strategy to force their opponent into the paint paid off for three quarters.

Returning playmaker Peyton Siva said their bravery was something they could be proud of but had to win these tight contests.

“Overall, I think we came out hard and played early – the mistake we made was giving up too many offensive rebounds,” he told reporters.

“Every game we have to take positives: today we shared the ball well, we limited the losses but in the end we still lost.

“We have the short corner, Sydney coming up. So we have to focus on that.”

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