Basketball: Former NZ Breakers coach Dean Vickerman leads Melbourne United to ANBL title

  • 26/06/2021

Melbourne United have clinched the 2020/21 Australian NBL championship with an 81-76 win over Perth Wildcats in game three of the finals series on Friday.

Led by former NZ Breakers coach Dean Vickerman, Melbourne United completed a sweep of the best-of-five series to cap a dominant season in fitting fashion to earn their second title in just four years.

Boomer forward Jock Landale was the stand-out for United, finishing with 15 points and nine rebounds - as well as the game-clinching shot - to win the Larry Sengstock Medal also as Grand Final MVP.

Linchpin Chris Goulding added 14 points to finish as the finals' leading scorer, while Tall Blacks guard Shea Ili contributed five points and three assists off the bench.

Former Breakers import star Scotty Hopson contributed 12 points off the pine, including some key buckets down the stretch.

Vickerman is now a three-time championship-winning coach, including his title with the Breakers in the 2014/15 season.

"The emotions when you realise you've won are to stay humble to start with and then to make sure we enjoy this because this group absolutely earned it," Vickerman says.

"They sacrificed like every other team did in the league, but this was the group starting the year having COVID. 

"We went through that whole thing at the start of the year and from that point we came together as a group, and looked at what the other sporting codes did in Melbourne like Richmond and the Storm. 

"We wanted to be part of that and to be one of those teams that came through the right way. We got there."

John Mooney was the best of the Wildcats, notching a double-double of 14 points and 13 rebounds.