SEMI-Final spots in the Men’s SBL will be decided this weekend with the defending champion Perry Lakes Hawks having the first crack at trying to advance when they host the Rockingham Flames on Friday night.
The defending champion Hawks along with the top three teams at the end of the regular season, Joondalup Wolves, Lakeside Lightning and Geraldton Buccaneers, all won impressively in their Game 1 matches to open the quarter finals last weekend.
Now the second week of the quarter finals begins this Friday night with the Perry Lakes Hawks hosting the Rockingham Flames at Bendat Basketball Centre. Should Rockingham, they will host Game 3 on Saturday night.
The other Game 2 match ups all take place on Saturday night with the Lakeside Lightning hosting the Goldfields Giants, the Geraldton Buccaneers at home to the Warwick Senators, and the Joondalup Wolves on the road to the Kalamunda Eastern Suns.
Should any or all of the Giants, Senators or Eastern Suns win, the Game 3 deciders will then take place on Sunday afternoon at midday.
QUARTER FINALS WEEK 1 MEN’S SBL WRAP
QUARTER FINALS GAME 1 SPOTLIGHT | POWERFUL BUCCS TAKE LEAD OVER SENATORS
REDHAGE PRIMED TO LEAD HAWKS V HIRE’S FLAMES
WOLVES PLAYERS THRIVING ON RECEIVING GREATER FREEDOM
CREDIT TO UTLEY FOR SUNS RETURN TO FINALS ACTION
CREEK PROUD TO HEAD UP GIANTS REVIVAL
LAKESIDE MOVE EVERYTHING VIGOR HOPED IT WOULD BE
HIRE HAS PLENTY ON PLATE BUT FLAMES TITLE HIS FOCUS
BUCCS SUCCESS THE ULTIMATE DRIVING FORCE FOR HUNT
The only Friday night Game 2 quarter-final match up in the Men’s SBL takes place between the Perry Lakes Hawks and Rockingham Flames at Bendat Basketball Centre.
Coming off winning last year’s championship, the Hawks are now just one win away from returning to the semi finals after their win in Game 1 last Saturday night in Rockingham, 89-81.
Despite finishing in fifth position, Perry Lakes had no trouble winning on the road and it was their broad contributions that was key with Cooper Hamilton, Ryan Smith and Clint Steindl hitting shots, Shawn Redhage and Kyle Sovine solid inside, and Ben Purser continuing his underappreciated season.
Despite the absence of Brad Robbins with an Achilles injury, Rockingham was just about back to full strength but hadn’t quite had enough time to click with Josh Ritchart just back from injury and Luke Travers just returning to the team.
Coach Ryan Petrik ideally would have liked more time to get his team to gel, but they now need to win on Friday night to force Game 3 back in Rockingham on Saturday. And with a team featuring Greg Hire, Caleb White, Ryan Godfrey, Chudier Pal, Ritchart and Travers, they are more than capable.
The other three Game 2 match ups will all take place on Saturday night, starting with the Geraldton Buccaneers hosting the Warwick Senators.
The Buccs delivered a huge last quarter last Saturday night at Warwick Stadium to win Game 1 94-84 on the road to now need to win just one of a potential two games this weekend at Active West Stadium to advance to the semi finals.
The Buccaneers have parted company with import guard DeAngelo Isby this week but the reality was his role had greatly diminished with the return of Alex Ducas anyway.
And with Brendan Dinardo and Marcus Alipate playing ball handling roles as well, and with Colter Lasher and Aaron Ralph holding down the three spot nicely too, the Buccs are well equipped to deal with his departure.
The reality was the team chemistry might even improve as they try to now go home and advance to the semi finals.
It’s a big task for the Senators to now need to win twice in Geraldton to advance, but if anything would prove to coach Mike Ellis that this group has matured and is ready to win, then that would do it.
They have all the tools too. Wani Swaka Lo Buluk is having a fine season as point guard, Cody Ellis and Caleb Davis are quality and versatile players, Justin King is playing well, Ash Litterick battles hard, Ngor Manyang is having a career-best season and Rob Anshila shows glimpses of his potential.
Then also on Saturday night, the Eastern Suns mark their return to the finals for the first time since 2012 by hosting the Wolfpack at Ray Owen Sports Centre.
Joondalup did win Game 1 last Saturday night 112-97 in the finish at HBF Arena but the Eastern Suns threw the challenge down to them and actually led by five points at half-time despite missing key players Louis Timms and Josh Braun.
The Wolves responded by shooting out of the blocks in the second half to claim the 15-point win. But now on their home floor, the Suns will be desperate to put in a strong showing against the regular season champions to try and force a Game 3 on Sunday back at HBF Arena.
The last of the Game 2 match ups on Saturday night takes place at Lakeside Recreation Centre between the Lightning and Giants.
For the third time this season, the two teams played out a tight contest last Saturday night in Kalgoorlie with Lakeside just managing to prevail 89-85.
That now leaves the Giants with a significant challenge to try and win two games on the road this weekend to get through to the semi finals in their first playoff berth since 2015, but they will throw everything at it.
Whether they have the depth to quite topple the Lightning remains to be seen, but Game 2 certainly should be another cracking contest between the two.
MEN’S SBL FIXTURES – QUARTER FINALS GAME 2
ID Athletic Perry Lakes Hawks v Sinclair McDonald’s Rockingham Flames – Bendat Basketball Centre 8.30pm (Perry Lakes lead 1-0)
Quadrio Earthmoving Geraldton Buccaneers v Bethanie Warwick Senators – Active West Stadium 7.30pm (Geraldton leads 1-0)
Lakeside Lightning v Northern Star Resources Goldfields Giants – Lakeside Recreation Centre 8.00pm (Lakeside leads 1-0)
Kalamunda Eastern Suns v Chambers Franklyn Joondalup City Wolves – Ray Owen Sports Centre 8.30pm (Joondalup leads 1-0)
QUARTER FINALS GAME 3 (if required)
Sinclair McDonald’s Rockingham Flames v ID Athletic Perry Lakes Hawks – Mike Barnett Sports Complex 8.00pm
Chambers Franklyn Joondalup City Wolves v Kalamunda Eastern Suns – HBF Arena 12.00pm
Quadrio Earthmoving Geraldton Buccaneers v Bethanie Warwick Senators – Active West Stadium 12.00pm
Lakeside Lightning v Northern Star Resources Goldfields Giants – Lakeside Recreation Centre 12.00pm