ROUND 9 in the Men’s SBL couldn’t possibly get off to a more fascinating start with Shawn Redhage’s debut at the Perry Lakes Hawks coinciding with Brad Robbins’ first appearance for the Rockingham Flames alongside Greg Hire on Friday night.
All eyes will be on Bendat Basketball Centre on Friday night as Round 9 in the Men’s SBL gets underway with the Perry Lakes Hawks playing the Rockingham Flames in a rematch of last year’s semi-final series.
To make it more intriguing, Perth Wildcats championship-winning teammates Shawn Redhage, Brad Robbins and Greg Hire will all be sharing the one SBL court for the first ever time.
Redhage and Robbins were Wildcats teammates for the championship in 2010 in the NBL on top of being together at the ‘Cats from the 2006/07 season up until Robbins retired for good after a comeback in 2012/13.
Redhage and Hire were teammates at the Wildcats as well up until Redhage retired following the 2017 championship, sharing three titles together.
It’s going to be quite the sight to see three of the Wildcats great leaders all playing on the one SBL court on Friday night with Redhage joining the defending champion Hawks against Robbins, Hire and the Flames.
And that’s only one of the nine big match ups in the ID Athletic Women’s Round of the SBL where players and officials will be wearing pink socks to raise funds for the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
The other Round 9 match ups in the Men’s SBL include on Friday night the Willetton Tigers hosting the Perth Redbacks, and the Cockburn Cougars playing the Joondalup Wolves.
Then on Saturday night, the Joondalup Wolves play the Mandurah Magic, the Geraldton Buccaneers host the Kalamunda Eastern Suns, the Perry Lakes Hawks face the Goldfields Giants, the South West Slammers take on the Warwick Senators, and the East Perth Eagles tackle the Lakeside Lightning.
The round will conclude on Sunday afternoon at Belmont Oasis with the Perth Redbacks playing the Goldfields Giants.
Starting on Friday night with the Hawks hosting the Flames at Bendat Basketball Centre, it has all the makings of a night in the SBL to remember.
Perry Lakes comes into the game having won its last two matches and seven of its past eight to be building some impressive momentum as the defending champions now welcome Shawn Redhage into the line-up.
Rockingham went 1-1 last weekend against the Senators and Tigers in the absence of Greg Hire who was with the Australian 3×3 team in Puerto Rico helping them qualify for the World Cup.
That sees the Flames come into Friday night’s clash at 7-4 with them welcoming back Hire and also Brad Robbins into their line-up for the first time. It will be his first SBL game since his stint at the Wolves in 2015.
Redhage spent the past two seasons playing at the Perth Redbacks following his decorated 393-game NBL career and he’s looking forward to his first game with Perry Lakes against Rockingham.
“They are a pretty talented side and then you add in Greg Hire and it’s going to be a good challenge,” Redhage said.
“He is coming off a 3×3 World Cup bid in Puerto Rico so he’s in good form. I think Rockingham with the season they had last year, they have to be one of the favourites coming into this year too with the players that they’ve added as well.”
Then also on Friday night, the Tigers take on the Redbacks at Willetton Basketball Stadium.
Willetton has lost five of its past six games coming into the contest at 4-7 while Perth is building some nice momentum as they start to pull their squad together.
Jourdan DeMuynck has now joined Marshall Nelson with Zac Gattorna stepping up and Joel Wagner leading the way. The Redbacks have now won their past three matches and five of their past seven to have some good momentum taking into the trip to Willetton.
Friday night’s action ends at Wally Hagan Stadium with the Cougars hosting the Wolves.
It appears a tough task for Cockburn who have now lost their past couple to the Flames and Giants as they now host a Wolfpack team ready to breathe fire coming off a rare loss.
The Wolves lost to the Senators last Saturday night but still have a 7-3 record on the season but they will want to hit back strongly on Friday night.
Saturday night in the Men’s SBL begins at HBF Arena with the Wolves and Magic doing battle in the 6pm time slot for Women’s Round.
The Wolfpack will be coming off their clash with Cockburn on Friday night while the Magic are coming in fresh for their only game of the weekend following a 15-point loss in Geraldton last Saturday night.
Speaking of the Buccaneers, they remain at Active West Stadium to take on the Kalamunda Eastern Suns on Saturday night.
The Buccs enter the round on top of the table at 7-2 as they prepare to host an Eastern Suns team that might be 5-7 but that have a talented line-up led by Josh Braun and Louis Timms, and including Ryan Blanchett, Carl Aylett, Corey Easley and Logan Viskovich.
The Buccs will be confident of keeping their momentum going at home but the Suns are more talented than they are regularly showing and this is a chance to send a message.
Perry Lakes will back up playing Rockingham on Friday to take on the Giants also at Bendat Basketball Centre on Saturday night.
Goldfields come into the game having won two of its past three matches to be 6-4 ahead of their road double-header that starts against the defending champions on Saturday night.
Also on Saturday night, the winless Slammers face a tough challenge against the league’s hottest team in the Senators even at Eaton Recreation Centre.
In the continued absence of Brian Voelkel, the Slammers remain winless this season under new coach John Triscari including a 56-point loss to the Redbacks last weekend.
The Senators make the trip to Bunbury sitting second in the standings at 7-2 having won their past six matches but they might be without Caleb Davis after he injured an ankle during last Saturday night’s win over Joondalup which came just 24 hours after a win in Rockingham.
Saturday night’s action ends at Herb Graham Recreation Centre with East Perth hosting Lakeside.
The Eagles have lost their past four matches but should be closer to full strength for the Saturday night clash on their home floor but it’s a big ask up against the in-form Lightning.
Lakeside comes into the game at 7-2 on a three-game winning streak with Michael Vigor and Jack Isenbarger entering the line-up, and soon to be returned to Jarrad Prue as he works his way back from a hamstring injury.
The round then concludes on Sunday at Belmont Oasis with the Redbacks playing the Giants. Perth is coming off a Friday night clash with Willetton while Goldfields will be fresh off playing the Hawks on Saturday night.
MEN’S SBL FIXTURES – WEEK 9
ID Athletic Perry Lakes Hawks v Sinclair McDonald’s Rockingham Flames – Bendat Basketball Centre 8.30pm
Willetton Tigers v Texture WA Perth Redbacks – Willetton Basketball Stadium 8.30pm
Prestige Honda Melville Cockburn Cougars v Chambers Franklyn Joondalup City Wolves – Wally Hagan Stadium 8.30pm
Quadrio Earthmoving Geraldton Buccaneers v Kalamunda Eastern Suns – Active West Stadium 7.30pm
ID Athletic Perry Lakes Hawks v Northern Star Resources Goldfields Giants – Bendat Basketball Centre 7.30pm
Print Sync South West Slammers v Bethanie Warwick Senators – Eaton Recreation Centre 8.00pm
Chambers Franklyn Joondalup City Wolves v Mandurah Magic – HBF Arena 8.00pm
CMTG East Perth Eagles v Lakeside Lightning – Herb Graham Recreation Centre 8.00pm
Texture WA Perth Redbacks v Northern Star Resources Goldfields Giants – Belmont Oasis 12.00pm