ROUND 11 in the Men’s SBL begins on Friday night with a rematch of the 2017 Grand Final along with two teams desperate to take the leap to being title threats this season also locking horns leading into six monster match ups on Saturday evening.
The Round 11 action in the Men’s SBL begins on Friday night with the Perth Redbacks playing the Joondalup Wolves at Belmont Oasis.
The other Friday night contest features the league-leading Warwick Senators hosting the fourth placed Lakeside Lightning at Warwick Stadium.
It’s then a huge night on Saturday with 12 of the 14 teams in the Men’s SBL taking part.
It gets underway with the Willetton Tigers playing the Warwick Senators at Willetton Basketball Stadium with the Goldfields Giants also at home to the Mandurah Magic.
The Joondalup Wolves then back up to play the Geraldton Buccaneers at HBF Arena with the Perry Lakes Hawks facing the Cockburn Cougars, the Rockingham Flames taking on the East Perth Eagles, and Terrell Carter making his debut with the South West Slammers playing the Kalamunda Eastern Suns.
The round then concludes on Sunday from noon at Herb Graham Recreation Centre with the East Perth Eagles playing the Geraldton Buccaneers.
The opening game of Round 11 takes place on Friday night at Belmont Oasis between two teams that have build up quite a rivalry in recent years, including meeting in the 2017 Grand Final.
There’s never any shortage of drama when the Redbacks take on the Wolves and Friday night should be no different with Perth looking to continue to build some momentum and Joondalup out to hold on to their spot near the top of the table.
The Redbacks come into the game fresh off a one-point nail-biting win over the Eastern Suns and overall they have won five of their past six matches with Jourdan DeMuynck, Marshall Nelson, Majier Garang, Zac Gattorna and Joel Wagner all playing well.
But the Wolfpack arrive at Belmont in good form too having won their past three matches against Cockburn, Mandurah and Willetton since a loss to the Senators.
That has Joondalup sitting in second position at 10-3 coming into Round 11 up against a Redbacks team on Friday night who sits eighth at 7-7.
The other Friday night contest should also be a beauty at Warwick Stadium between the Senators and Lightning.
Warwick remains the hottest team in the Men’s SBL having now won eight straight matches to be atop the standings at 9-2 with coach Mike Ellis having assembled the deepest and most versatile team in the competition.
That includes Cody Ellis, Justin King, Caleb Davis, Rob Anshila, Wani Swaka Lo Buluk, Ash Litterick, Ngor Manyang and Jay Thwaites who are all combining to play tremendous team basketball with contributions too from grizzled veteran Tom Witts and emerging point guard Oliver Cross.
The Senators look to make it nine straight wins on Friday night but the Lightning have emerged as genuine contenders this season too especially with Jack Isenbarger now back in the line-up, Jarrad Prue having overcome his hamstring complaint and Kyle Armour, Rowan Mackenzie and Jobi Wall in impressive form.
Both the Lightning and Senators are looking to take the leap to championship contenders this year and Friday night will teach us plenty about where those hopes sit for both.
Saturday night begins with the earlier starting game at Willetton Basketball Stadium between the Tigers and Senators.
Willetton snapped its three-game losing run with a two-point win over East Perth last Saturday night to improve to a 5-9 record to remain in the playoff hunt.
Chris Galbreath has been a strong addition for the Tigers in their frontcourt as they now look to back up with a win against a Senators team having already played at home to Lakeside on Friday night.
The Giants are back home at Niels Hansen Basketball Centre also on Saturday night hosting the Magic.
Goldfields had built some impressive momentum before losing to Lakeside in Kalgoorlie by a point last Saturday night, but despite the loss there was still lots to like for the Giants and they played an impressive game.
They will look to keep their impressive form going again on their home floor on Saturday coming in with an 8-5 record against a Magic team whose record might not be great at 3-9, but who are dangerous opponents with the likes of Shaun Stewart, Marvin Smith and Travis Durnin.
The Wolfpack are another team backing up from Friday night when they host the Buccaneers at HBF Arena on Saturday.
It’s a battle between the teams who finished last year’s regular season in the top two spots and it doubles as Earnest Ross’ first time playing with Joondalup against Geraldton having been part of the Buccs’ line-up in 2018.
Joondalup will have already played against the Redbacks on Friday night while the Buccs come into the weekend in third position at 8-3 and having beaten Perry Lakes at home last week.
The Buccaneers have also had a changeover in import with DeAngelo Isby replacing the now departed Wille Conner.
Two teams making their only appearances of the weekend meet at Bendat Basketball Centre with Perry Lakes hosting Cockburn.
The Hawks come into the contest having now lost their last three matches, all since adding Shawn Redhage to the line-up.
Redhage played well last Saturday night in Geraldton with 22 points, nine rebounds and six assists but the Hawks couldn’t quite get over the line with the defending champions now sitting seventh with a 7-6 record.
They host a Cockburn team who is struggling and especially so last weekend in the absence of Gavin Field in hefty losses to the Senators and Magic.
That means the Cougars have now lost their past five matches to come into Round 11 with a 3-9 record.
Rockingham is back at Mike Barnett Sports Complex on Friday night hosting East Perth in what should be a fascinating contest between a Flames team looking to stay in touch with the top four and the Eagles trying to stay in contention for a playoff berth.
The Flames have won their past two games to be 9-4 but they will be without Greg Hire due to Australian 3×3 commitments this weekend but they will regain former Perth Wildcats captain and championship-winning point guard Brad Robbins.
East Perth will begin its double-header with the trip to Rockingham looking to improve on its 5-8 record.
The last game of Saturday night takes place at Eaton Recreation Centre with the Slammers hosting the Eastern Suns.
The Slammers might have lost their opening 12 matches of the 2019 season, but there’s great excitement over their game on Saturday night with the arrival of import centre Terrell Carter.
But getting their first win of 2019 won’t be easy against a Kalamunda team more talented and dangerous than its 6-8 record and ninth position suggests.
The round then concludes on Sunday afternoon at Herb Graham Recreation Centre with the Eagles and Buccs doing battle. Both will be coming off Saturday night fixtures with East Perth having played in Rockingham and Geraldton having played at Joondalup.
MEN’S SBL FIXTURES – WEEK 11
Texture WA Perth Redbacks v Chambers Franklyn Joondalup City Wolves – Belmont Oasis 8.30pm
Bethanie Warwick Senators v Lakeside Lightning – Warwick Stadium 8.30pm
Willetton Tigers v Bethanie Warwick Senators – Willetton Basketball Stadium 7.00pm
Northern Star Resources Goldfields Giants v Mandurah Magic – Niels Hansen Basketball Centre 7.30pm
Chambers Franklyn Joondalup City Wolves v Quadrio Earthmoving Geraldton Buccaneers – HBF Arena 7.30pm
ID Athletic Perry Lakes Hawks v Prestige Honda Melville Cockburn Cougars – Bendat Basketball Centre 8.00pm
Sinclair McDonald’s Rockingham Flames v CMTG East Perth Eagles – Mike Barnett Sports Complex 8.00pm
Print Sync South West Slammers v Kalamunda Eastern Suns – Eaton Recreation Centre 8.00pm
CMTG East Perth Eagles v Quadrio Earthmoving Geraldton Buccaneers – Herb Graham Recreation Centre 12.00pm