Saturday, April 6, 2013

Joyce hopes to step up and give Gunners a boost

Daniel Joyce.

Daniel Joyce.

He made the most of his NBL lifeline with Sydney, now Daniel Joyce wants to step up as one of the Canberra Gunners' ''go to'' men.

After the Kings were bundled out of the playoffs by New Zealand, Joyce will make his Gunners debut against his former SEABL side Ballarat at Belconnen Basketball Stadium on Saturday night.

Having played a bit-part role at Sydney, the shooting guard will slot straight into the starting line-up after Zlatko Todorovski broke his finger in Canberra's last-start win over Bendigo.

Ironically, Sydney handed him a second chance at the NBL in similar circumstances.

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The son of former NBL championship-winning coach Brendan Joyce was rushed into the Kings line-up in October after James Harvey broke his arm.

Having not played NBL for three years, Joyce travelled to training from Wollongong just in case an opening emerged in their roster.

Canberra won just one game last season, but has chalked up victories in its first two matches as it celebrates 25 years in the league.

''It's something I'm really excited about. I played a role at Sydney, coming off the bench and playing some minutes here or there,'' he said. ''I was hoping I'd be able to slot in with the Kings because I know the plays, and when 'Harvs' went down Shane [Heal, Kings coach] gave me a call.

''In Canberra I need to be more of a scoring option, be a more consistent shooter.''

The 25-year-old has some understanding of the Gunners systems, having attended a training session a month ago.

He's relishing the chance to forge a back-court combination with Canberra's star American point guard Camontae Griffin, superb in the Gunners' first two games.

Joyce now feels he's emerged from his father's shadow after his Kings stint, having played most of his NBL career under his old man.

''When I went to Ballarat that was the whole thing, trying to get back to the league [NBL],'' he said. ''Since then getting a contract with Sydney to help them out, so I have started to make a name for myself.''


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