The Bullets and Taipans will do battle again.
The Bullets and Taipans will do battle again.

NBL devoted to Bullets v Taipans derby

THE NBL hope to stoke tribal passions in a bid to drive the "Sunshine Stoush" derby between the Brisbane Bullets and Cairns Taipans to follow in the footsteps of the Broncos-Cowboys NRL rivalry.

The battle for basketball bragging rights in Queensland will now officially be known as the "Sunshine Stoush", with the clubs to clash for the second time this NBL season at the Cairns Convention Centre on Saturday night.

In the true style of a sporting derby, ladder positions count for little when the Bullets and Snakes clash. In their past 40 meetings, Brisbane have won 21 times with Cairns grabbing 19 victories.

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Last season when the Taipans won the wooden spoon, they beat the finals-bound Bullets on three out of four occasions.

NBL Commissioner Jeremy Loeliger said the governing body wanted the "Sunshine Stoush" to become one of the marquee rivalries in the competition.

"Brisbane and Cairns are from two very distinct parts of the state but there is certainly a strong North v South rivalry in Queensland and we've identified the fact that the NRL derby between the Broncos and Cowboys is always an eagerly anticipated event,'' Loeliger said.

"We think that the 'Sunshine Stoush' can certainly become that too and we believe it will be a game that fans won't want to miss, because it is a serious rivalry when you look back at the results and how close they are.

The battle between the Brisbane Bullets and Cairns Taipans is always a hotly contested one. Picture: Jono Searle/Getty Images
The battle between the Brisbane Bullets and Cairns Taipans is always a hotly contested one. Picture: Jono Searle/Getty Images

"It is a rivalry that we should be making more of.

"Queensland is a really important basketball market in this country, so it's important we make every post a winner.

"That why we were excited to announce that Queensland was joining NBL1 (second-tier state league) so we can keep that momentum going through the NBL off-season.''

Brisbane claimed a 90-74 win over Cairns in Round 2 in Brisbane's first-ever home game at "The Armoury" at Nissan Arena, and the return match-up carries plenty of weight for both clubs.

Both sides are coming off disappointing losses last weekend when the Bullets (4-4) fell to the league-leading Sydney Kings by 10 points, after leading by 15 late in the second quarter, while the Taipans (2-6) suffered a 10-point loss at the hands of LaMelo Ball and the Illawarra Hawks.

NBL general manager Jeremy Loeliger. Picture: AAP Image/Scott Barbour
NBL general manager Jeremy Loeliger. Picture: AAP Image/Scott Barbour
"Both sides are looking to stay in touch with the top four, so there will be plenty to play for again this weekend,'' Loeliger said.

"And in terms of attendances, both markets are really starting to bubble, which is great.

"Cairns are building some real momentum after they had their biggest crowd of the season last weekend - as did Brisbane.

"And I know the Bullets are going to go from strength to strength under the new ownership of Kevin Martin and his team.

"So we are really buoyed by the state of the sport in Queensland.''

Live stream selected games of the 2019/20 NBL Season with ESPN on KAYO with your TV, Mobile, Tablet or Laptop. Get your 14 day free trial & start streaming instantly >

News Corp Australia


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