Worthington seeks fairytale finish over Wildcats

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Mitchell WoodcockSouth Western Times
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Cairns Taipans stars Mark Worthington and Travis Trice celebrate their victory over the Adelaide 36ers at the Cairns Convention Centre on Friday night.
Camera IconCairns Taipans stars Mark Worthington and Travis Trice celebrate their victory over the Adelaide 36ers at the Cairns Convention Centre on Friday night. Credit: Chris Hyde / Getty Images

Mark Worthington is on track for a fairytale finish to his stellar professional basketball career, but will break the hearts of many West Australians if he is to win the National Basketball League Championship.

The Bunbury-raised basketballer and the Cairns Taipans secured second spot on the NBL ladder with two victories over minor premiers, the Adelaide 36ers, at the weekend and will now play the Perth Wildcats in the semi-final series, starting on Friday night.

Mark Worthington was pivotal in the Taipans’ victory on Saturday night.
Camera IconMark Worthington was pivotal in the Taipans’ victory on Saturday night. Credit: Getty Images

If the Taipans win this year’s NBL title, it would be the first in the club’s history.

Last month Worthington announced his retirement from the NBL after a 12-year career, which was highlighted by winning an NBL championship in 2009 with the Melbourne Tigers and the NBL Rookie of the Year in 2006.

Despite nearing the end of his career, Worthington has not lost his touch, hitting two clutch three-pointers during the third quarter of Saturday night’s nine-point victory over Adelaide.

Worthington is averaging almost 10 points, four rebounds and three assists a game in his final NBL season.

The 33-year-old will finish his career having represented five different NBL clubs — the Sydney Kings, South Dragons, Melbourne Tigers, Gold Coast Blaze and the Cairns Taipans.

Worthington also won a championship with Brose Bamberg in the Basketball Bundesliga in Germany.

The Cairns Taipans and the Perth Wildcats will play the first semi-final on Friday night at the Cairns Convention Centre, before heading to Perth Arena on Monday and then back to the Convention Centre on Friday, February 24 if a third game is needed.

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