ROUND 6 in the West Coast Classic opens up with a tantalising match up on Friday night between the Joondalup Wolves and Perry Lakes Hawks that will tell us plenty about where each teams sits in the finals hunt.
The Joondalup Wolves opened the West Coast Classic on fire but they have now lost two of their previous three matches to the Warwick Senators and Goldfields Giants to leave them clinging to a place in the top four.
Personnel might have a big say in how they perform and last week’s trip to Kalgoorlie against the ‘Twin Towers’ of the Giants in Mayo Malek and Majier Garang without Rob Huntington and Lee Roberts proved a bridge too far to overcome.
Whether those two championship winning bigs are available this week or not remains to be seen, but it could have a big say in how the Wolfpack performs starting on Friday night against the Perry Lakes Hawks.
The Hawks remain sitting on top of the West Coast Classic standings coming into Round 6 with a 7-1 record on a five-game winning streak.
That sets the stage for a fascinating battle on Friday night at HBF Arena to open proceedings in Round 6 of the West Coast Classic.
A win for the Hawks and not only do they go a long way to securing a finals spot, but they will be mighty tough to knock out of that first place with three weeks and only four games remaining.
A loss and suddenly at two losses the Hawks are back to the pack.
Meanwhile for the Wolfpack under new coach Andrew Summerville, a win on Friday and they are more than consolidated back in the top four but a loss leaves them vulnerable to the Perth Redbacks and Willetton Tigers who are desperate to try and knock them out.
That Friday night game at HBF Arena between the Wolves and Hawks is only the beginning of what is going to be a fascinating Round 6 in the West Coast Classic.
Also on Friday night, the Perth Redbacks play their last home game at Belmont Oasis up against the Kalamunda Eastern Suns. The Redbacks need to win to keep their finals hopes alive.
Then also on Friday, the South West Slammers host the Willetton Tigers at Eaton Recreation Centre. Willetton needs to win to stay in the hunt while South West will look to finish the job of an upset this time after going ever so close last Friday night against the Lakeside Lightning.
That all sets the stage for what’s to come on Saturday night starting with the Geraldton Buccaneers taking on the Cockburn Cougars.
Again personnel will be key and if the Cougars suddenly have Luke Travers, Jaarod Holmes and Seva Chan again, they are a different looking outfit than the one that lost twice last weekend to Warwick and Kalamunda.
But the Buccs were impressive beating the Magic at home even without Aaron Ralph with Mat Wundenberg dominant so they’ll look to now start building some momentum.
The Goldfields Giants also remain at home and will face the Lakeside Lightning. Lakeside needs to keep winning to stay in the top four and while the Giants might not be quite able to still play finals, they are playing some outstanding basketball right now highlighted by last week’s win over the Wolves.
The Magic then face the challenge of trying to stop the Warwick Senators in Mandurah also on Saturday night while the Perry Lakes Hawks then back up their game with the Wolves by hosting the East Perth Eagles at Bendat Basketball Centre.
The Rockingham Flames struggled last weekend minus Ryan Godfrey and Travis Durnin, but they’ll be hoping to get back to some form on Saturday although it will be a challenge against the Wolfpack at Mike Barnett Sports Complex.
Last up for Round 6 in the West Coast Classic sees the Kalamunda Eastern Suns hosting the South West Slammers at Ray Owen Sports Centre also on Saturday night.
WEST COAST CLASSIC 2020 – MEN
Perth Redbacks v Kalamunda Eastern Suns – Belmont Oasis 8.30pm
South West Slammers v Willetton Tigers – Eaton Recreation Centre 8.30pm
Joondalup Wolves v Perry Lakes Hawks – HBF Arena 8.30pm
Geraldton Buccaneers v Cockburn Cougars – Active West Stadium 6.00pm
Goldfields Giants v Lakeside Lightning – Niels Hansen Basketball Stadium 7.00pm
Mandurah Magic v Warwick Senators – Mandurah Aquatic and Recreation Centre 7.00pm
Perry Lakes Hawks v East Perth Eagles – Bendat Basketball Centre 7.00pm
Rockingham Flames v Joondalup Wolves – Mike Barnett Sports Complex 8.00pm
Kalamunda Eastern Suns v South West Slammers – Ray Owen Sports Centre 8.30pm