THREE crucial games take place both on Friday and Saturday nights in the Men’s SBL while Round 12 will feature a home-away double for the Goldfields Giants and Geraldton Buccaneers leading into Monday’s All-Star Game.
Round 12 in the Men’s SBL begins on Friday night with the Cockburn Cougars playing the Rockingham Flames, the Mandurah Magic taking on the South West Slammers and the East Perth Eagles facing the Perry Lakes Hawks.
Then on Saturday night, the Joondalup Wolves host the Stirling Senators in Battle of Joondalup III while the Lakeside Lightning face the Willetton Tigers and the Kalamunda Eastern Suns take on the Perth Redbacks.
Also on Saturday night, the Geraldton Buccaneers play the Goldfields Giants at Active West Stadium before the two teams do it again on Sunday evening at Niels Hansen Basketball Stadium.
That all leads into the All-Star Game at Bendat Basketball Centre with the Men’s contest beginning at 2pm.
The North team’s starters will be Kevin Davis (Kalamunda), Shawn Redhage (Perth), Justin King (Stirling), Drew Williamson (East Perth) and Gokul Natesan (Geraldton). They will be coached by Wolfpack mentor Ben Ettridge.
They will have Courtney Belger (Kalamunda), Earnest Ross (Geraldton), Jacob Holmen (Perry Lakes), Jalen Billups (Joondalup), Lochlan Cummings (Perry Lakes) and Jonathan Morse (East Perth) coming off the bench.
While Daniel Alexander (Lakeside), Greg Hire (Rockingham), Gavin Field (Cockburn), Damien Scott (Willetton) and John Isenbarger (Lakeside) are starting for South who are coached by Willetton’s Stephen Black.
Coming off the bench will be Brandon Thompson (South West), Jamal Shabazz (Mandurah), Brandon Sebirumbi (Cockburn), Jeylyn Sharpe (Goldfields), Jarrad Prue (Lakeside), Kyle Armour (Willetton) and Shaun Stewart (Mandurah).
Round 12 in the Men’s SBL begins on Friday night with the Cougars hosting the Flames.
While Cockburn added an NBL star in Clint Steindl two weeks ago who delivered them two wins, they have now lost him through a fractured wrist while the Flames will possess Illawarra Hawks captain Kevin White once again after his arrival last weekend.
With White in the line-up, Rockingham scored impressive wins against Willetton and East Perth following a five-game winning streak. Now fresh off re-signing with the Hawks in the NBL, White will at least be with Rockingham the next three weeks and potentially the rest of the 2018 season.
Cockburn enters Friday’s contest having lost last Saturday night to Lakeside in the absence of Steindl to remain outside the top eight at 6-8 while Rockingham steadied to 8-7 in sixth position with the presence of White who replaced injured import Josh Ritchart.
Also on Friday night, two teams near the bottom and looking to build some momentum to get in the playoff hunt are the Magic and Slammers who clash at Mandurah Aquatic and Recreation Centre.
The Magic come into the game in 12th spot at 3-10 after a loss on the road to the Wolves last Saturday night on the back of a one-point heart stopping win against Kalamunda.
The Slammers lost by 23 points in Geraldton last Saturday night as well to slip to 3-10 in 13th spot and it does appear now or never if they are to make a run in 2018.
The last game on Friday night then pits the Eagles and Hawks against one another with both out to end losing streaks to keep pace with a playoff position.
They do battle at Morley Sport and Recreation Centre with East Perth having now lost four straight to sit in 11th position at 5-10. Perry Lakes, meanwhile, have lost five straight to be 6-8 but still clinging to eighth spot.
Then on Saturday night, things get underway in the Men’s SBL at Active West Stadium with the Buccaneers hosting the Giants.
Geraldton comes into the game in second position on a five-game winning streak and an 11-2 record since a shock loss at home to the Magic. They continued their winning run last Saturday night in Geraldton beating the Slammers by 23 points.
The Buccs host the Giants who come into the weekend in last place with a 2-11 record and having lost three straight including at home last Saturday to the Eastern Suns by 22 points.
Then after their game in Geraldton on Saturday, the Giants host the Buccaneers on Sunday evening at Niels Hansen Basketball Stadium.
Buccs pair Gokul Natesan and Earnest Ross then have to travel from Kalgoorlie to Perth for the All-Star Game on WA Day Monday following the games against the Giants on Saturday and Sunday nights.
Also on Saturday night in the Men’s SBL, it will be Battle of Joondalup III with the Senators travelling to HBF Arena for the first time to take on the league-leading Wolves.
The Wolfpack come into the game on a nine-game winning streak since losing in Geraldton with a 14-1 record while Stirling went 1-1 last weekend beating Perth but losing to Willetton to come into the clash in Joondalup in fourth position with a 9-6 record.
It’s another big Saturday night contest at Lakeside Recreation Centre on Saturday night with the Lightning and Tigers locking horns.
Lakeside is now building some momentum winning three straight with the arrivals of Daniel Alexander, Bryan Michaels and Corey Shervill. That has seen the Lightning improve to a 7-7 record in seventh spot including a win on the road against the Cougars last Saturday night.
They host the fifth placed Tigers on Saturday night with Willetton having lost in Rockingham last Friday before bouncing back on Saturday to defeat the Senators at home and maintain touch for a top four position.
But now the Lightning and Tigers meet in what should be a fascinating contest on Saturday.
Lastly on Saturday night, the Eastern Suns host the Redbacks at Ray Owen Sports Centre.
Kalamunda did upset Perth late last season even though the Redbacks went on to win the championship, and now this is a much better Suns team in 2018.
They beat the Giants in Kalgoorlie last Saturday night by 22 points to improve to a 6-9 record and stay in touch for a playoff spot.
The Redbacks did lose last Friday away to Stirling but bounced back well on Saturday night beating Perry Lakes at Belmont Oasis by 19 points to improve to a 11-4 record to sit in third position entering the clash in Kalamunda.
MEN’S SBL FIXTURES – WEEK 12
Cockburn Cougars v Rockingham Flames – Wally Hagan Stadium 8.30pm
Mandurah Magic v South West Slammers – Mandurah Aquatic and Recreation Centre 8.30pm
East Perth Eagles v Perry Lakes Hawks – Morley Sport and Recreation Centre 8.30pm
Geraldton Buccaneers v Goldfields Giants – Active West Stadium 7.30pm
Joondalup Wolves v Stirling Senators – HBF Arena 8.00pm
Lakeside Lightning v Willetton Tigers – Lakeside Recreation Centre 8.00pm
Kalamunda Eastern Suns v Perth Redbacks – Ray Owen Sports Centre 8.30pm
Goldfields Giants v Geraldton Buccaneers – Niels Hansen Basketball Stadium 7.30pm
Men’s All-Star Game
North v South – Bendat Basketball Centre 2pm