Melbourne United star Chris Goulding has returned to the game for the first time since Australia’s infamous World Cup qualifier in what proved dramatic fashion.
The Launceston-raised guard raised the ire of Filipino fans when he was fingered as the agitator behind the vicious brawl in Manilla that made headlines around the basketball world.
But on the end of several shots from angry Philippines players, Goulding showed no lingering mental scars.
The 29-year hit the game-winner for the reigning NBL champions in their preseason opener against US college giant St Marys.
The three-pointer with 4.5 seconds on the clock delivered United a 81-80 win in front of 3000 home fans.
In the battle that has been the home of many Australian basketball talents, Goulding wasn’t going to let the Gaels leave Melbourne easy.
He scored seven last-quarter points to finish with 16 for the game.
Goulding’s earlier performances for Australia weeks after his NBL club’s first title was for gold at this year’s Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast when he teamed with fellow Launcestonian Lucas Walker.
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