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Melbourne set for tough road test in NBL

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 4/12/2016 Michael Ramsey

The new-look Melbourne United are firing on all cylinders in the NBL, but they're also preparing for their toughest test of the season.

Melbourne claimed their third-straight victory on Sunday with a commanding 98-74 win over the New Zealand Breakers.

With stars Chris Goulding and Todd Blanchfield back from injury and replacement import guard Casper Ware igniting Melbourne's offence, the side look better than they have all season.

But having won three games in a row at home, Melbourne's true test looks set to come when they hit the road over the next few weeks.

United will head to Perth to face the defending champion Wildcats on Friday before taking on the league-leading Sydney Kings on Sunday and the Brisbane Bullets on December 17.

It will be a taste of things to come for Melbourne, whose schedule is back-ended with road games to avoid clashes with the Australian Open tennis.

But with their next home game not scheduled until Boxing Day, Goulding says his side will relish the opportunity to prove themselves on the road.

"It was important to lock down these three games, especially today, knowing the challenge that we have in front of us," he said after Sunday's win.

"I'm really looking forward to seeing how a full squad responds to being on the road and playing two of the best teams out there in the next couple of games.

"Road wins build tremendous camaraderie and character within the group. In this league, they're hard to come by, so if you can snatch one here or there or string a few together on the road, that's a really big achievement."

Melbourne (six wins, seven losses) have played just four away games so far this season, with their round two victory over Adelaide their only win.

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