NBL champion Jo Lual-Acuil re-joins Melbourne United

April 12, 2023 04:50 PM AEST | By AAPNEWS
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Former MVP finalist Jo Lual-Acuil will return to Melbourne United next NBL season as the side looks to fight its way back from a disappointing 2022/23 campaign.

The South Sudan-born 211cm centre played three seasons for United from 2019/20 and was named the NBL's Best Sixth Man on the side's run to the championship in his second campaign.

He took his game to new heights a season later, helping Dean Vickerman's side overcome the loss of NBA convert Jock Landale.

Lual-Acuil earned All-NBL First Team honours in the 2021/22 campaign and was named one of three finalists for the Andrew Gaze Trophy as the league's most valuable player, losing out to Sydney Kings import Jaylen Adams.

The 28-year-old holds United's franchise record for most rebounds (21) and blocks (seven) in a game and returns after a season playing with Nanjing Tongxi Monkey Kings in the Chinese Basketball Association.

"I always said that if I was going to come back to the NBL, it would be to play for Melbourne United," Lual-Acuil said.

"I'm happy and excited to be back home and I can't wait to play in front of the best fans in the league."

Lual-Acuil joins captain Chris Goulding, Shea Ili, Flynn Cameron, Tanner Krebs, Zac Triplett and Josh Duach in committing to United for the 2023/24 season, when the side will look to recover from their first season without finals since 2017.

He will jostle for selection with Ariel Hukporti, the Germany-born NBL Next Star who missed last season with an achilles injury.

United's other tall options this season - Isaac Humphries, import Marcus Lee and Callum Dalton - have not yet re-committed.


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