THE South West Slammers opened their account in the Women’s SBL last Sunday and now have an intriguing double header in Round 5 against the undefeated Lakeside Lightning on Saturday night and then the winless East Perth Eagles on Sunday.
It’s already the fifth round of the 2018 Women’s SBL season beginning with the two matches on Friday night that sees the Mandurah Magic play the Cockburn Cougars at Mandurah Aquatic and Recreation Centre, and the Kalamunda Eastern Suns take on the Perry Lakes Hawks at Ray Owen Sports Centre.
There are then three matches on Saturday night with the Stirling Senators taking on the Mandurah Magic at Warwick Stadium, the Perth Redbacks hosting the East Perth Eagles at Belmont Oasis and the South West Slammers then playing the Lakeside Lightning at Eaton Recreation Centre.
Three of those four teams then back on Sunday with the East Perth Eagles hosting the South West Slammers at Morley Sport and Recreation Centre and the Lakeside Lightning playing the Rockingham Flames at Lakeside Recreation Centre.
Friday night’s action gets underway with the Magic taking on the Cougars in Mandurah.
The Magic remain undefeated and on top of the Women’s SBL with a perfect 4-0 record having continued their winning form last week handing the Willetton Tigers their first loss with the 13-point victory.
The Cougars lost their first game of the season under new coach Megan Thompson, but it was a strong showing losing by just five points to Perth Redbacks.
The Magic will look to keep their imposing form going but the Cougars also want to show how much they are improved in 2018 by taking it right up to them.
Then also on Friday night, the Eastern Suns host the Lady Hawks at Kalamunda with both teams looking for an important win.
Kalamunda is attempting to work its way into playoff contention in 2018 and the two wins the Suns have had over the Slammers and Eagles have been impressive. But their losses to the Redbacks, Wolves and Lightning have shown they are a little off the playoff teams from 2017.
But Friday night gives them a chance to make their mark against the defending champions with Perry Lakes still missing Nat Burton and Toni Edmondson.
It’s been a challenging start to the season for the Lady Hawks going 1-4 after losing just twice in all of 2017 but they have plenty of proud players still who will not want to fall to 1-5.
Then on Saturday night, the Redbacks host the Eagles with Perth out to continue its momentum and East Perth still hunting its first win of 2018.
The Redbacks lost their first game of the season under new coach Charles Nix to Lakeside but have won their three games since including a five-point tight affair last week against Cockburn.
They will now look to improve on their 3-1 record against an Eagles team that has started 2018 losing to Cockburn, Perry Lakes and Kalamunda by an average of 28.3 points.
Then there is a real contrast in the starts to the season for two teams when the Senators host the Magic at Warwick Stadium also on Saturday night.
Coming off a fourth place finish last year, Stirling had high hopes of another strong campaign in 2018 but it hasn’t come to pass so far with Glenn Clarke’s team losing their opening four games.
Now the job isn’t any easier up against the Magic. The positives are it is at home for Stirling and that Mandurah will have played Cockburn on Friday night, but they are going to have to find their best performance of 2018 to date to be competitive against the hot Magic outfit.
Then lastly on Saturday night, the Slammers host the Lightning in Bunbury.
That sees the Slammers try to back up their first win of 2018 that came last Sunday to the tune of 13 points against the Joondalup Wolves at HBF Arena. That came after losses to start the season against Kalamunda, Willetton and Mandurah.
The Lightning were so close to reaching a Grand Final in 2017 and even without Sam Roscoe still, they have started 2018 in imposing fashion going through undefeated so far in four games including a 19-point win at home last week against Kalamunda.
The game is the first of a double-header on the weekend for both teams with the Slammers to then play away to East Perth on Sunday, and Lakeside to host Rockingham.
Slammers coach Peter Harper is looking forward to seeing how his team takes it up to the Lightning at home on Saturday night, but acknowledges the challenge of the double-header.
“We probably match up alright size-wise with Lakeside and they don’t have a lot of talls until Roscoe gets here,” Harper said.
“They have Ash Grant but she’s not a big post-up player, she’s more in the mould of a Courtney or Charlie for us. They could find it hard to defend us as well. We just have to play like we did against the Wolves. We have to be aggressive offensively and defensively.
“It’s a tough one this weekend because we have a game on Saturday that people might not expect us to win and then we have a game we are expected to win on Sunday. We have to look at how we’re going on Saturday night, but obviously we are going out to win that game too.
“We can’t afford not to throw everything at it so we won’t be able to ease off for Sunday. It’s a tough double-header from Saturday night to Sunday because by the time you get home and get the girls to bed and then drive to Perth in the morning, you haven’t had much recovery time. It’s always tougher than Friday and Saturday night but we’ll do the best we can with it.”
WOMEN’S SBL FIXTURES – WEEK 5
Mandurah Magic v Cockburn Cougars – Mandurah Aquatic and Recreation Centre 6.30pm
Kalamunda Eastern Suns v Perry Lakes Hawks – Ray Owen Sports Centre 6.30pm
Stirling Senators v Mandurah Magic – Warwick Stadium 6.00pm
Perth Redbacks v East Perth Eagles – Belmont Oasis 6.00pm
South West Slammers v Lakeside Lightning – Eaton Recreation Centre 6.00pm
East Perth Eagles v South West Slammers – Morley Sport and Recreation Centre 12.00pm
Lakeside Lightning v Rockingham Flames – Lakeside Recreation Centre 2.00pm