Grabau brings grunt to Taipans
HE may be known as the Taipans' very own male model but it isn't Aaron Grabau's good looks his teammates have missed this season.
The foundation player has watched on since the early stages of round one with an injured left knee, but will make his return against New Zealand Breakers, arguably the most physical team in the NBL.
But that's OK, because Grabau can play tough with the best of them.
In fact, that's what his captain Alex Loughton is most looking forward to.
"He's a welcome reintroduction to our line-up, particularly for fourth-quarter toughness," Loughton said.
Grabau pulled out all the tricks he has learnt in nearly 400 NBL games while playing for the Marlins in the QBL last season, and Loughton said that experience would now rub off on the Taipans' rookies.
"He gives us that grunt and strength and he intimidates the opposition," Loughton said.
"Our new guys will learn from his style of play. It'll be great having him on the floor so they can watch him. "He's just invaluable in that regard."
It will mark the first time this season that the team will play at full strength, with Snakes' strength and conditioning coach Scott Callaghan pleased with how Grabau has trained.
They will front up against a New Zealand Breakers team that played Townsville last night and are without Corey Webster.
But they still have enforcer Mika Vukona, genuine big Alex Pledger and the ultra-talented Thomas Abercrombie.
The Breakers (4-1) are the two-time defending champions and are in second, while the Taipans (3-3) have lost two vital home clashes to be sitting fifth.
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Full strength: With the return of intimidating Aaron Grabau, the Taipans will field a top team for the first time this season.