Chris Goulding of Melbourne United shoots a free-throw during the NBL semi-finals match between Melbourne United and the New Zealand Breakers at Hisense Arena in Melbourne, Saturday, March 3, 2018. (AAP Image/Daniel Pockett) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Chris Goulding of Melbourne United shoots a free-throw during the NBL semi-finals match between Melbourne United and the New Zealand Breakers at Hisense Arena in Melbourne, Saturday, March 3, 2018. (AAP Image/Daniel Pockett) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY

Goulding: ‘We want to play straight away’

MELBOURNE United star Chris Goulding half jokes that he should already have a NBL championship ring to his name.

But there will be no need for any cheeky asterisks on his resume if he helps guide United to victory over the Adelaide 36ers in the NBL grand final series that starts on Friday night.

Goulding was a development player with the Brisbane Bullets in 2006-07 when the club claimed the NBL title in emphatic fashion.

Goulding played one game for the Bullets that season as an enthusiastic rookie when he trained every day alongside the likes of Sam Mackinnon, CJ Bruton and Mark Bradtke.

Fast forward 11 years and the Boomers guard is one of the faces of the NBL and a prime mover behind Melbourne's journey to the best-of-five decider against the 36ers.

"As I get a little older, I like to claim it,'' Goulding said about the 2007 championship at Brisbane.

"It (winning a title) is something that I think about a lot now that I'm actually in a position to be able to do so.

Chris Goulding drives towards the basket.
Chris Goulding drives towards the basket.

"To be on a team where we genuinely have a chance to win it all, it's a good feeling (but) it's a little nerve-racking just because we are sitting around, waiting.

"It will be over a week in between semi-final two and game one of a grand final. We want to play straight away and get into this series.''

Melbourne beat the 36ers in all four regular season match-ups this season but all four contests took place in the first half of the campaign.

Goulding said multi-dimensional and potent Adelaide would be the toughest possible opponent with star import Josh Childress leading the way.

Casper Ware will be key for Melbourne United.
Casper Ware will be key for Melbourne United.

"Adelaide are a different team. Unlike one we've seen in this league for quite some time so we are going to have a challenge,'' Goulding said.

"He (Childress) creates match-up problems. He's pretty versatile offensively. I think he is the big one we need to try and minimise but you could say that about all of their guys.

"But I feel really confident about what we've done all year.''

Goulding said United coach Dean Vickerman was responsible for transforming the culture at the star-studded Melbourne to the point that they prided themselves on defence.

"We've been a team that previously looked great on paper and on any given night if we were shooting the ball well, there was a fair chance that we'd win,'' he said.

"What Dean has instilled in us is that (good shooting nights) are great but does that stack up in the back-end of the season and is that something you want to hang your hat on?

"There is never a sense of panic. If we get down, we understand there's a lot of time on the clock.''



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