Saturday, December 27, 2008

Tigers v 36ers (and Julius Hodge!)

On Saturday 27th December the Tigers once again hosted the 36ers.
No different to last game?
Well this time a certain Julius Hodge was on the court!
I hadn't yet had the opportunity to see this man in action so I sat under the basket at the 36ers end and set about my work.
It wasn't long before Hodge began to show why some say he's the best player in the league at this point in time.
His energy alone was enough to guarantee the Sixers a win against the home side.
I had to keep an eye on him in order to snap any decent shots as I discovered early in the first where he made a beautiful steal and before I could lift the camera he executed a brilliant dunk!
Not impressed!
But then even when prepared for such a scenario his pace and uncertainty was hard to track.
All in all I was treated to one of the most exciting games so far this season.
The Tigers fought back valiantly in the third but were unable to overcome a regenerated Adelaide line up.
Adelaide are looking very dangerous for the last half of the season and I'm hoping for another crack at Julius Hodge before season's end.


Monday, December 22, 2008

South Dragons v Townsville Crocodiles.

Rosell Ellis, Townsville Crocodiles

Another great game was held on Saturday 20th December at Hisense Arena in Melbourne.
The Dragons, who are fast becoming the team to beat this season hosted the Crocodiles and it was shaping up to be a beauty with Townsville having beat South last time they met in Melbourne.
I found myself a nice spot under the basket at the Crocs end and started shooting with some great action from the word go.
I even stuck the 50mm 1.8 on the D700 to see how it performed and I have to say it did a great job.
It has to be the best value Nikkor lens on the market, not the fastest, but for what you pay you get one hell of a lens!
I found it focused fast enough to catch plenty of action, despite the lack of an AFS motor and there's never been any doubt about it's sharpness.
After the first quarter I changed back to the 70-200 and concentrated on some tight shots, a much tougher ask.
The game itself had everything, the Crocs leading in the first half, the Dragons coming back, the climax revealing a 4 point game.
The Dragons regained their pride and took the game out to the delight of the crowd.
This competition just gets tougher each week.
Whoever said basketball was dead in this country was dreaming, they just don't know where to look!


Saturday, December 13, 2008

NBL, Tigers v Dragons.

South Dragon Burston goes to the hoop
They say it never rains, it pours!
After driving through several hours of the wet stuff to reach the Cage this was just the scenario that faced me.
Fans poured into the venue, photographers poured onto the court and the game began like a torrent!
This was set to be the game of the season so far and didn't disappoint.
The Tigers came out hard as everyone expected given their last demoralizing defeat at the hands of the Dragons.
They looked like holding on, sneaking out to a big lead in the third term but Goorjian's boys stepped up the defensive intensity and drowned the Tigers on the floor of the Cage!
If anyone doubts the value of defense in a game of basketball go watch the Dragons and see how it's done.
When the going gets tough those Dragons certainly get going!
The pic shows a dejected Anstey as Burston takes him on on the way to the hoop, typical of the last quarter of play.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

South Dragons v Woolongong Hawks

Brian Goorjian

Well I finally made it back to Melbourne to photograph the Dragons and Hawks at Hisense Arena.
I've been looking forward to a Dragons game for a number of reasons, one of them being Brian Goorjian.
Here he is at his animated best appearing to be praying to the hoop Gods, or some other power after a call goes to the Hawks!
He's certainly a colourful character!
Both teams put on a display worthy of the trip down the Hume.
With the Hawks leading for the most part of the first half the Dragons regrouped and by the time the final term arrived had their measure and took out a hard fought win.
In a fast paced and physical encounter I dodged balls and players, cups of beer and thoroughly enjoyed the night.
Those Dragon boys just keep on keeping on!