US import Tapscott slots right in as Rockets down Marlins
CHEHALES Tapscott is right at home with the Rockhampton Rockets.
The 2013 US-based International Basketball League MVP found no trouble slotting into the McDonald's Rockhampton Rockets squad on Saturday night as they defeated a classy Cairns Marlins 87-71 in round one of the QBL men's competition.
Elated by the victory, Tapscott said he could not have asked for a better welcome by Rockhampton and the Hegvold Stadium fans.
"I could not, it's a great welcome, it's a beautiful welcome and I really enjoy this town and the people," Tapscott said.
"I loved the crowd, there was great intensity, life; it's beautiful ... the people out there.
"I'm expecting to see that (energy from the crowd) every time now. Every home game I'm expecting to see that."
Tapscott praised the performances of his teammates, who stepped up to the challenge against a team filled with NBL experience.
"We all play basketball for a living so of course it's tough but I think overall we just played harder and we were the better team tonight," he said.
"I believe everybody played well, even the guys that didn't play, they're supportive and that really helps. We have a lot of players and we're all really good and play well together so I think we'll be successful.
"We played really good defence and it's a good team effort, we just played harder so I think we'll continue to do that and continue to win some games."
Tapscott lived up to his reputation, leading the scoring with 27 points, nine rebounds and three assists but said it was just another day at the office.
"I'm just playing my game, I felt pretty good, I was pretty excited, I just played my heart out," Tapscott said.
"That's my game, I'm a hard worker, I play with passion and I just want to win so I'll do whatever it takes to win and that's my role."
Rockets coach Neal Tweedy praised his entire squad and said the crucial win had set the foundations for another successful year.
"I think we came out well defensively, that was the pleasing aspect of it and that allowed us to run a little bit and get on top early," Tweedy said.
"We couldn't afford to drop that one; Cairns is going to be a different team up there (in Cairns).
"They'll bring Kerry Williams back into that line-up and I think we get them in week four so it's a tough six games for us and good to get off to that great start.
"I think we're a lot deeper this year. This is one of our deepest teams so hopefully we can just come together over the next few weeks and win those games early in the season and it could be another great season."
2014 QBL MEN
Rockhampton Rockets 87 (C Tapscott 27, B Williamson 18) def Cairns Marlins 71 (S Bruce 21, M Young 10) at Hegvold Stadium on Saturday night.
R1 RESULTS: Suncoast Clippers 105 def South West Metro 77, Toowoomba 73 lost to Gold Coast Rollers 80, Bundaberg 74 def Northside 70, Brisbane 93 def Ipswich 59, Gladstone 58 def by Cairns 100.