A FASCINATING Round 5 in the West Coast Classic is ahead of us with the Rockingham Flames facing a stern double test to remain undefeated while the Lakeside Lightning and Warwick Senators will look to bounce back and the Perth Redbacks have a chance to break into the top four.
Round 5 in the West Coast Classic signals that we have gone beyond the halfway mark of the nine-week competition which will then end up seeing the top four teams taking part in the finals action so every game is taking on greater significance as we go further along.
With two teams still undefeated after four rounds, another two having only lost one game and then three more with just the two losses, there are seven of the 12 teams still well and truly in the finals hunt but the other five are more than capable of still having a say in how things pan out.
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There are four matches in the West Coast Classic on Friday night starting at Eaton Recreation Centre with the South West Slammers hosting the Lakeside Lightning.
The Slammers remain winless with a remarkably youthful and small squad they have been able to pull together for the West Coast Classic as they come up against a more experienced and bigger Lightning.
However, Lakeside will be disappointed with losses last week to Rockingham and Kalamunda and in particular how they shot the ball, so they’ll look to bounce back strongly on the road to the Slammers to avoid slipping further from the top four.
The Cockburn Cougars also host the Warwick Senators at Wally Hagan Stadium with both teams coming into the game with contrasting form.
Cockburn won its first game of the West Coast Classic after four losses against the East Perth Eagles last Saturday night while the Senators lost their first game two weeks ago against the Joondalup Wolves before having the bye last weekend.
Then also on Friday night, two teams with just the one win on the board so far meet with the East Perth Eagles hosting the Willetton Tigers at Herb Graham Recreation Centre.
The Friday night action then ends with what should be a tremendous contest at Bendat Basketball Centre with the Perry Lakes Hawks up against the Rockingham Flames.
Perry Lakes is now on a four-game winning streak after losing its opening two games of the West Coast Classic so the Hawks will look to keep that run going as they attempt to break into the top four.
With Nat Burton and Sarah Donovan up front, they are naturally going to cause the Flames some problems but then trying to stop the on-fire Tayah Burrows from Rockingham will be their biggest concern.
The Flames remain undefeated in this West Coast Classic which included a pair of wins last week against Lakeside and East Perth on the back of winning last year’s SBL championship.
Rockingham’s last loss remarkably was July 5 last year against the Mandurah Magic before they won their last four regular season games, and all five finals matches in 2019.
The action in Round 5 doesn’t let up there, with three more matches on Saturday starting with the Perth Redbacks hosting the South West Slammers at Belmont Oasis.
The Redbacks remain unbeaten so far on their home floor in 2020 and they will look to continue that to improve to a 5-2 record against the Slammers and to remain right in the playoff hunt.
Then also on Saturday, the Flames are back home to host the Willetton Tigers at Mike Barnett Sports Complex with both teams having played as well on Friday.
Then the evening concludes with the Kalamunda Eastern Suns hosting the Cockburn Cougars at Ray Owen Sports Centre.
The Cougars will have already hosted the Senators on Friday while it’s the Suns’ only game of the weekend as they attempt to continue their momentum from a strong win over Lakeside last Saturday night that improved them to a 3-1 record so far in the West Coast Classic.
The round then concludes with what should be a fascinating battle at Warwick Stadium on Sunday afternoon between the Senators and Redbacks. This could very well go a long way to determining which of the two teams takes part in the finals action later next month.
WEST COAST CLASSIC 2020 – WOMEN
South West Slammers v Lakeside Lightning – Eaton Recreation Centre 6.30pm
Cockburn Cougars v Warwick Senators – Wally Hagan Stadium 6.30pm
East Perth Eagles v Willetton Tigers – Herb Graham Recreation Centre 6.30pm
Perry Lakes Hawks v Rockingham Flames – Bendat Basketball Centre 6.30pm
Perth Redbacks v South West Slammers – Belmont Oasis 5.00pm
Rockingham Flames v Willetton Tigers – Mike Barnett Sports Complex 6.00pm
Kalamunda Eastern Suns v Cockburn Cougars – Ray Owen Sports Centre 6.30pm
Warwick Senators v Perth Redbacks – Warwick Stadium 12.00pm