THE Kalamunda Eastern Suns, Perth Redbacks, Rockingham Flames and Warwick Senators all have double-headers that we’ll learn plenty from in Round 8 of the Men’s SBL this Friday and Saturday night.
The Round 8 action begins with three matches on Friday night that sees the Perry Lakes Hawks host the Kalamunda Eastern Suns, the East Perth Eagles play the Perth Redbacks and the Rockingham Flames take on the Warwick Senators.
There are then six matches on Saturday night starting with the earlier starting contests with the Perth Redbacks playing the South West Slammers, and the Willetton Tigers taking on the Rockingham Flames.
Then in the regional centres coming off their double-header against one another, the Goldfields Giants host the Cockburn Cougars, and the Geraldton Buccaneers play host to the Mandurah Magic.
Also on Saturday night, the Warwick Senators take on the Joondalup Wolves in a tantalising match up, and the Kalamunda Eastern Suns face the Lakeside Lightning.
The Round 8 action begins at Bendat Basketball Centre with the Hawks hosting the Eastern Suns.
Perry Lakes’ five-game winning run ended back on ANZAC Day against the Senators before they bounced back to beat East Perth and improve to 6-3 on the season despite Clint Steindl hurting his back last Thursday.
Kalamunda comes into the game playing well also having won their past two matches and with Josh Braun and Louis Timms in outstanding form, and receiving strong support from Corey Easley, Ryan Blanchett, Logan Viskovich and Carl Aylett.
The Hawks continue to appear one of the teams to beat but this is a real chance for the Suns to show they belong in that discussion too.
Two teams just trying to remain in playoff contention then meet at Herb Graham Recreation Centre with the Eagles hosting the Redbacks.
Now without Sunday Dech and awaiting the arrival of Vinnie Zollo, the Eagles are struggling at 4-6 and having lost three on the trot. The Redbacks, on the other hand, are starting to build some momentum now and had a one-point win over the Magic last Thursday.
That was with Jourdan DeMuynck in the line-up for the first time this season and with Lee Roberts not far away, and Marshall Nelson on fire, the champs of 2017 are starting to get things going this season.
The last game on Friday night is another cracking contest between two teams who were semi finalists last year and want to at least get that far again in 2019.
That sees the Flames hosting the Senators at Mike Barnett Sports Complex.
Rockingham continues to have star players go in and out, but after still doing well to hold a 6-3 record under new coach Ryan Petrik while the Senators are clicking nicely with a settled line-up coming into the game at 5-2 in fourth position and having won four on the trot.
Saturday night’s action begins with the earlier starting game with a 6pm tip-off at Belmont Oasis with the Redbacks hosting the Slammers.
Perth will be coming off its trip to Mirrabooka against East Perth on Friday while the Slammers will be fresh and desperate for their first win of the season.
They will be hoping Brian Voelkel is fully fit to help make that happen and a team with him alongside Michael Lay and Tyler Livingston, and with support from the emerging Brody England should be better than sitting 0-9.
It’s a fresh Willetton outfit to host Rockingham on Saturday with a 6pm tip-off as the Tigers look to back up their last up win over the Magic on Sunday that snapped a four-game losing skid.
The Tigers have parted ways with import Marcanvis Hymon, but still have plenty of talent with his replacement to arrive soon as they look to cause an upset against the Flames to potentially move back into the top eight.
The Giants are then back at home in Kalgoorlie on Saturday night to host the Cougars. Goldfields beat Geraldton by a point on their home floor last Saturday before losing big on Sunday afternoon in Geraldton.
That sees the Giants come into the round in seventh spot at 5-4 while the Cougars head out to the Goldfields at 3-5 having lost to the Flames by 24 points last Saturday on the back of a three-game winning run.
Geraldton was stung by losing to the Giants by a point in Kalgoorlie to respond with a 27-point win at home on Sunday to see the Buccs improve to 6-2 on the season despite losing Willie Conner early in that game.
The Buccs now host the Magic on Saturday with Mandurah facing a big task to record their third win of the season despite the continued outstanding form of Shaun Stewart.
The Senators then host the Wolves at Warwick Stadium in what looms as a fascinating contest between the two local rivals.
They did meet back in Round 2 of the season at HBF Arena with the Wolfpack winning 101-77, but the Senators will be confident of a much-improved showing this time around.
Warwick will be coming off a trip to Rockingham on Friday night while the Wolves will be fresh having beaten East Perth last Friday night by 16 points.
The Wolfpack come into the game on top of the standings at 7-2 but it could be a night where plenty is learned about both outfits.
The round then concludes at Ray Owen Sports Centre with the Eastern Suns hosting the Lightning.
Kalamunda will be backing up from taking on Perry Lakes on Friday while Lakeside continues to perform impressively despite the absence of Jarrad Prue, Jack Isenbarger and Michael Vigor.
MEN’S SBL FIXTURES – WEEK 8
ID Athletic Perry Lakes Hawks v Kalamunda Eastern Suns – Bendat Basketball Centre 8.30pm
CMTG East Perth Eagles v Texture WA Perth Redbacks – Herb Graham Recreation Centre 8.30pm
Sinclair McDonald’s Rockingham Flames v Bethanie Warwick Senators – Mike Barnett Sports Complex 8.30pm
Texture WA Perth Redbacks v Print Sync South West Slammers – Belmont Oasis 6.00pm
Willetton Tigers v Sinclair McDonald’s Rockingham Flames – Willetton Basketball Stadium 7.00pm
Northern Star Resources Goldfields Giants v Prestige Honda Melville Cockburn Cougars – Niels Hansen Basketball Centre 7.30pm
Quadrio Earthmoving Geraldton Buccaneers v Mandurah Magic – Active West Stadium 7.30pm
Bethanie Warwick Senators v Chambers Franklyn Joondalup City Wolves – Warwick Stadium 8.00pm
Kalamunda Eastern Suns v Lakeside Lightning – Ray Owen Sports Centre 8.30pm