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American import gone from Blaze

AMERICAN import Mike English and Gold Coast Blaze have parted ways just one game into the new National Basketball League season.

Blaze officials were yet to make a statement regarding the return of English to the United States less than one week after the Blaze's opening game against premiers New Zealand Breakers at the Gold Coast Convention Centre last Friday night.

Head coach Joey Wright had just been released from hospital where he underwent an appendectomy - the Blaze are no doubt waiting for him to front the media and explain the reasons behind the departure of English.

English arrived in Australia with a good reputation - an all-rounder skilled in all aspects of the game.

He previously plied his trade in Sweden, Australia, Hungary, Spain and most recently with premiership-winning Slovakian outfit Astrum Levice for whom he starred throughout the playoffs earning a swag of awards at season's end.

Wright gave English a bit of game time (17 minutes 21 seconds) against the Breakers but he failed to trouble the scorers and the rest of his vital stats in general play were low.

When questioned prior to Friday's night clash as to how the imports - English and young Will Hudson - were shaping up, Wright was profuse in his praise of Hudson but reluctant to put a wrap on English.

"He still has a way to go," Wright said. "His fitness and involvement needs to lift."

The Blaze will now go in search of a replacement player for English. Wright will no doubt be on the phone to his contacts in the States seeking their advice on someone suitable.

Whereas English disappointed in his debut, not so the 22-year-old Hudson.

Hudson had 25 minutes game time, second only to Adam Gibson, and snared 18 points from seven field-goals and four three throws. All his other statistics were solid.

The Blaze are next in action on Sunday night, again on home court at The Furnace where they host Cairns Taipans at 7.30pm (NSW).

In other Round 2 games, Perth will host the Melbourne Tigers on Friday night, Townsville take on Cairns, Sydney play New Zealand and the Hawks tackle the 36ers.


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