Adam Forde expects Bobi Klintman to continue impressing like he did in Cairns' win over South East Melbourne.

7 Oct
By Dan Woods for

The Cairns Taipans are on the board in NBL24 with last night’s win over South East Melbourne, and the performance of Next Star Bobi Klintman showcased exactly why Adam Forde was so keen to bring the young Swede into his system.

The 20-year-old formed a vicious one-two punch with veteran guard and Foot Locker Player of the Game winner Patrick Miller to help lead the Taipans to a seven-point win.

Klintman played almost 30 minutes off the bench and ended the game with his first professional double-double, and he also added three steals and a pair of blocks to his 15 points and 11 boards.

The projected first-round NBA draft pick joins fellow Next Star Ariel Hukporti in putting up a double-double over the past week. 

Forde says Klintman’s performance following a difficult opening game against New Zealand was no surprise to those within the Cairns camp.

“This is why we were desperate to get him here, because he ticks so many boxes for us,” Forde said post-game.

“Having him here in the locker room, at practice, the energy he brings is great and it’s actually what we want.

“It’s not a surprise when he’s good, and we ride that momentum. It’s cool he’s doing it because he is capable, and it’s great to see.

“I expect the same when we play Brisbane on the weekend.”

“We’re going to keep going,” Klintman added. “I’m not satisfied yet.”

Forde lamented his side’s ability to turn slender leads into strong margins against the Breakers in Round 1, and while the Taipans managed to extend their lead to double digits against the Phoenix, he still believes there’s further steps to take to see out games properly.

“In New Zealand we found a couple of times – especially in that first half – we had an opportunity to get a five-point lead and blow it out to double digits and we never did it. Today we were able to get to double digits, but we weren’t able to push it out to 20,” he said.

“People forget that was a two-year process last year. With the group we have in we’re trying to fast-track it into eight months. This is expected, this needs to be addressed and highlighted. 

“We don’t get away with just getting the win, it’s important that we keep addressing the things we need to improve on.

“Right now, we’re like a lion cub that’s got the prey in our mouth, but we don’t know how to kill it yet. We’ll keep nurturing that and getting better.”

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Bobi Klintman SWAT ?<br><br>? Watch <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NBL24</a> LIVE on ESPN! <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; ESPN Australia &amp; NZ (@ESPNAusNZ) <a href="">October 5, 2023</a></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

Import big Josh Roberts returned from injury to suit up for the first time in his professional career, but the former Manhattan Jasper remained rooted to the bench as Forde looked to counteract the speed possessed by South East Melbourne.

Sam Mennenga played just 19 minutes against the Phoenix after his exciting debut against the Breakers last week, while AK Gak only played nine minutes.

Forde says there’s no need to worry about Roberts not hitting the floor against the Phoenix.

“He got back on the court today,” he said of the returning big.

“South East went with a bit of a small ball lineup, so it really wasn’t a matchup for bigs.

“We matched South East’s pace and energy by going a little bit of small ball ourselves, but it helps when all our wing guys are 6’7” to 6’10” and able to do what they do. It was purely just a matchup.”

Cairns next takes to the floor against Queensland rivals Brisbane on Saturday night at  8pm AEDT, live on ESPN via Kayo.

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