Marlins aim to rise high this season
IF you ask the Marlins, this season size counts.
That's the theory behind convincing Taipans development player and former AIS big Matt Andronicus to hang around in the Far North for the approaching QBL season.
Standing at 208cm, he is the tallest member of the Taipans squad and will provide the front-court clout the one-time ABL powerhouse is lacking.
The Marlins secured his services despite offers from interstate as the hulking 21-year-old attempts to stay in the conversation before the next NBL season.
Cairns Basketball general manager Mike Scott said it was the first official announcement as the club slowly put all its ducks in a row.
"He is obviously keen to stay up here and play well and put his Taipans case forward," Scott said.
"So his signing is great, plus we are finalising things with a new coach and have been talking to a few other players.
"Things have been moving nicely and we are hoping to assemble a squad that only improves on last years."
Their most recent campaign finished at the quarter final stage, against eventual champions Mackay.
At one point they looked favourites to win another QBL title, but injuries to regular Taipans Aaron Grabau and Dusty Rychart cruelled their chances.
Those NBL veterans are unlikely to suit up for the Marlins, but Scott was confident they would not be relying on them.
The under-18 Marlins have returned from their first representative duties of the season confident they can win a medal at the May Day Queensland championships.
The Marlins easily beat Mackay 96-57, but lost to Townsville 76-56 in their two Top of the North clashes.
Scott said losing to Townsville was no disgrace.
"That Townsville team is very strong. We could still be the second-best team in Queensland to be honest, based on the form they have been showing in FNQ Super League," he said.
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Great catch: There will be no sitting around for Matt Andronicus in the next QBL season with the Marlins expected to rely heavily on their 208cm signing. Picture: MARC McCORMACK