Cairns Taipans gunning for top two
THE talent-rich Taipans should be content with nothing less than an NBL finals appearance this season, according to forward Alex Loughton.
The father of two, about to enter his third year with the Cairns club, said they would be gunning for a top-two spot.
He said their skill, point-scoring ability and depth off the bench meant there should and would be high expectations placed on them this season.
"This will be a great season," he said.
"We've got our sights set on a top two position with the talent we have."
But he warned for all their attacking threats, it would be their defence that determined where they finished on the ladder.
"We've got the ability to score. The buy in needs to happen on the defensive end," Loughton said.
"The wheels are starting to turn in the heads of the new boys that defence is a big part of what we do."
The team, including a fit-looking Loughton, will take part in the NBL launch at Federation Square today before playing the Melbourne Tigers in Dandenong tonight.
Tomorrow they play New Zealand Breakers and on Saturday night will play a third game; the rival dependent on earlier results.
Last season the only game the Taipans won in the pre-season tournament was against a QBL All-Stars team.
Loughton expected them to be slow out of the blocks again.
"Injuries and carrying new players mean we won't peak for a while yet, which is a good thing," he said.
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Aiming up: Alex Loughton expects the Taipans to do well this season.