THINGS are heating up in the Men’s SBL and that sets the stage for a fascinating Week 9 of action that starts with three big games on Friday night, five more on Saturday night and another on Sunday on Mother’s Day.
It’s Women’s Round in the SBL as well meaning that the Men’s matches across the weekend will all be played first across the venues aside from Kalgoorlie and Geraldton ahead of Mother’s Day on Sunday.
There are three big contests in the Men’s SBL on Friday night with tip-off for all three taking place at 6.30pm. The Rockingham Flames take on the Kalamunda Eastern Suns, the Willetton Tigers play the East Perth Eagles and the Lakeside Lightning face the Perth Redbacks.
Then on Saturday night, the Geraldton Buccaneers host the Cockburn Cougars and the Goldfields Giants also play host to the Mandurah Magic.
The Joondalup Wolves celebrate the milestones of Seb Salinas and Damian Matacz on Saturday night hosting the Lakeside Lightning with the East Perth Eagles also playing the Stirling Senators and the Perth Redbacks taking on the South West Slammers.
The round then concludes on Sunday afternoon at Eaton Recreation Centre with the South West Slammers playing the Perry Lakes Hawks.
The Friday night action in the Men’s SBL begins with the Flames hosting the Eastern Suns at Mike Barnett Sports Complex.
The Flames enter the contest having lost twice last weekend to the Tigers and Buccaneers, including a particularly disappointing Sunday loss at home to Geraldton by 36 points minus Josh Ritchart.
That sees Rockingham come into Friday night’s game against Kalamunda in sixth position with a 6-5 record while the Suns also lost twice in Round 8 – to the Wolves by 34 points and Cougars by 15.
The Eastern Suns enter their contest in Rockingham in 11th position with a 4-8 record.
The Tigers then look to continue their impressive form of late hosting the Eagles at Willetton Basketball Stadium.
Willetton scored another strong win on their home floor last Saturday night beating the Flames by nine points to improve to a 6-3 record on the season to be building form reminiscent of what led them to the regular season championship in 2017.
East Perth comes into the contest in good form, though, having returned to the winner’s list last Saturday night beating the Magic in Mandurah by 34 points with Drew Williamson on fire with 33 points.
The Eagles now look to consolidate their eighth position and 5-6 record up against the Tigers on Friday night.
The Friday night fixtures conclude with the Lightning playing the Redbacks at Lakeside Recreation Centre.
Lakeside now has Daniel Alexander in its line-up after his arrival to play his first game of the season last Saturday night. That didn’t quite lead to a win over the Hawks, but he will look to put the Lightning on his back this Friday against the defending champions.
Lakeside comes into the game in ninth position with a 4-5 record while the Redbacks are in third position at 7-3 having beaten the Senators by 21 points last Friday night on their home floor.
Saturday night gets underway in the Men’s SBL with the Buccaneers hosting the Cougars at Active West Stadium.
The Buccs bounced back from a surprise home loss to the Magic two weeks ago with wins on the road against the Senators last week by six points and over the Flames by 36.
Earnest Ross played his first two games of the season for the Buccaneers too as they improved to second position and an 8-2 record.
They will now host the Cougars on Saturday night with Cockburn coming off an impressive weekend as well beating the Suns by 15 points and Hawks by 24 points. That improved the Cougars to a 4-6 record as they make the trip to Geraldton.
The Giants then also host the Magic on Saturday night at Kambalda Recreation Centre.
Goldfields are on the hunt for its second win of the season coming off a loss at home last Saturday night to the Slammers by 22 points as they now take their annual clash to Kambalda.
The Magic pulled off a terrific win two weeks ago in Geraldton but couldn’t quite back it up at home last Saturday night losing to the Eagles by 34 points. They will look to improve on their 2-7 record on Saturday night against the Giants in Kambalda.
The Wolves then put their undefeated home record at HBF Arena on the line also on Saturday night by hosting the Lightning from 6pm.
The Wolfpack have plenty of added motivation as well with Seb Salinas celebrating his 400th game in the SBL and Damian Matacz reaching his 350th appearance in the league.
The Wolves are also still yet to lose on their new home court at HBF Arena as they enter the clash with the Lightning with a 9-1 record to be sitting on top of the Men’s SBL standings.
The Lightning come into the game with Daniel Alexander in the line-up but having already played at home against the defending champion Redbacks on Friday. Then they back up on Saturday against last year’s runner’s-up on Saturday night in quite the daunting weekend.
The Eagles then back up their trip to Willetton on Friday night by hosting the Senators on Saturday at Morley Sport and Recreation Centre.
The Senators come into the game needing to rediscover some form having lost their past three games against the Eastern Suns, Redbacks and Buccaneers by an average of 20.7 points to have slipped to a 6-5 record on the season.
The last Saturday night fixture then pits the Redbacks up against the Slammers in a rematch from last season’s fascinating three-game quarter-final series.
The Redbacks enter the game on Saturday night at Belmont Oasis having played the Lightning on Friday night while the Slammers are playing their first game of the weekend on a high coming off their first two wins of the season after an 0-7 start.
They have since beaten the Cougars at home and Giants on the road to now be building some momentum on the back of the presence of Brandon Thompson and Brian Voelkel.
The lone game then on Sunday afternoon for Mother’s Day sees the Slammers back up that clash with the Redbacks by hosting the Hawks at Eaton Recreation Centre. Perry Lakes will be playing its only game of the weekend entering the round in fifth position with a 6-4 record.
MEN’S SBL FIXTURES – WEEK 9
Rockingham Flames v Kalamunda Eastern Suns – Mike Barnett Sports Complex 6.30pm
Willetton Tigers v East Perth Eagles – Willetton Basketball Stadium 6.30pm
Lakeside Lightning v Perth Redbacks – Lakeside Recreation Centre 6.30pm
Geraldton Buccaneers v Cockburn Cougars – Active West Stadium 7.30pm
Goldfields Giants v Mandurah Magic – Kambalda Recreation Centre 7.30pm
Joondalup Wolves v Lakeside Lightning – HBF Arena 6.00pm
East Perth Eagles v Stirling Senators – Morley Sport and Recreation Centre 6.00pm
Perth Redbacks v South West Slammers – Belmont Oasis 6.00pm
South West Slammers v Perry Lakes Hawks – Eaton Recreation Centre 12.00pm