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Randle, 36ers scoop NBL awards pool

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 13/02/2017 Scott Bailey

Adelaide's Jerome Randle has taken out his first Andrew Gaze Trophy, convincingly winning the NBL's MVP award for the 2016/17 season.

Minor premiers Adelaide swept the pool in Melbourne on Monday night, with Joey Wright claiming coach of the year, Anthony Drmic rookie of the year and Nathan Sobey the most improved.

Centre Daniel Johnson was also named in the NBL's team of the year alongside Randle, after the 36ers set the competition alight throughout the middle of the season to claim first place with a 17-11 record.

Randle collected 143 votes to win the top prize by 36 from Perth's Casey Prather and last year's MVP Kevin Lisch, who finished third.

The 29-year-old point guard averaged 21 points and 5.3 assists per game, ranking third league-wide in both categories and leading all guards with three double-doubles.

The American import also sunk 51.4 per cent of his shots from the field and went at 90.4 per cent from the free-throw line as he became the first 36ers player to claim the prize since Mark Davis in 1987.

Points are awarded by coaches on a game-by-game basis, before end-of-year points are also awarded by coaching staff after the closest regular seasons in history.

Melbourne's Casper Ware and Illawarra's AJ Ogilvy join Randle, Prather and Johnson in the league's team of the year, while the Hawks' Rotnei Clarke won the sixth-man award for best bench player.

Intriguingly, no player from second-ranked Cairns was named in either the NBL's first or second side.

Meanwhile, Perth import Bryce Cotton pipped Ware for leading point-scorer per game, finishing the regular season with an average of 22.09, ahead of Ware's 22.06.

Melbourne players claimed the other key leading statistical categories though, with Cedric Jackson creating 5.56 assists per game and Josh Boone collecting 9.25 rebounds.

Randle will now focus his attention on turning Adelaide's four-game losing streak around when the 36ers' three-game semi-final series tips off against Illawarra on Thursday.

Cairns face Perth in the other series which begins on Friday.

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