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NBL23

'This feeling will spark our off-season': Cleveland

Dale Fletcher

6 February 2023

2 mins read

Adelaide 36ers swingman Antonius Cleveland said the feeling the side has after its NBL23 campaign ended in Melbourne on Sunday will motivate the club’s off-season.

Cleveland was spectacular and scored a team-high 30 points to go with six rebounds in the 36ers’ 116-107 loss to Melbourne United on Sunday.

“Just remember this feeling, that is my motivation this off-season and I’m excited to come back and get back on that winning side,” Cleveland said.

The Damian Martin Trophy Defensive Player of the Year finalist was everywhere and almost single-handedly won the game for the 36ers.

“It was good having a great game because it’s a long off-season, I just wanted to go out there and play hard,” Cleveland said.

Cleveland said the motivation for NBL24 had already begun and wants the roster to come back and prove this season was just an aberration.

“I’m back, there is a second year (on my deal),” Cleveland said.

“I think experience is good regardless, Sydney are good because they got their main core guys back.

“Coming back with that same core and the same group, even though we didn’t accomplish what we wanted to, I think coming back with that same core and that same group, it will help (in NBL24).”

The sting of missing the playoffs will hurt all off-season and Cleveland said he knows what his side needs to do to correct the mistakes of NBL23.

“You win like a man, but you got to lose like a man too, that would be the mindset during the off-season and the motivation,” he said.

“It’s a pretty tough league, but I think everyone knows what it takes to win in this league.”

With percentage playing a huge role in the final month of the season, Cleveland said in NBL24, he is scoring whenever he can, even in the final seconds of a match, regardless of the result.

“Every game matters, you don’t want to be in this position,” he said.

“Even from week one, those games matter, the points matter.

“I don’t want no one complaining about the points at the end of the game, because I know now that they matter.

“I’m scoring every chance I get at the end of the game.”

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