QBL Men Quarter Final Game Previews
Rockhampton Rockets v Mackay Meteors, Sat 8th Aug @ 8pm (Hegvold Stadium)-
How do the Meteors enter Hegvold Stadium in a positive frame of mind with the knowledge that the Rockets have not been beaten at home since July 2006 (they lost to the Townsville Heat 99-110)? They have a 2-1 split on them this season which is what the Meteors need to exploit if they stand to break the home winning streak that the Rockets are on. After clawing back from a 19pt deficit 7 minutes into the Marlins game in Round 15, the Rockets will be somewhat happy with the end margin (86-89). This type of hit-out leading into a Quarter Final will be priceless and has the defending State Champ’s ready to rock. With that said the Rockets don’t match up that well to the Meteors. Blanchfield worked his way into an NBL contract this year and if Fitzgerald and Cook find their mark early then this game will go down to the wire. Mackay carry the 2-1 edge but how far can this carry them in a stadium where you are almost doomed for failure.
Brisbane Capitals v Northside Wizards, Sat 8th Aug @ 7pm (Vince Hickey Stadium Basketball)-
We are down to the exact same scenario that occurred in 2008. Wizards and Capitals go head-to-head with the winner moving onto Cairns next week for the Semi Finals where they will face the winner of the Rocky v Mackay game. It was the Capitals who just managed a 106-103 win in ’08 before they were stopped in their tracks by the Rockets in a Semi (96-85). The Capitals are backed by experience and the League’s most efficient shooter – David Bartholomeaus with 63.4% from the field in ’09. The Wizards won’t be suiting up Boomer Adam Gibson and will rely on Cam Tragardh to hit his averages – 42ppg, 13rpg, 3apg. Tim Coenraad struggled for efficiency last week (33%) and will need to come out a blazing to keep this home team at bay. The Capitals managed a 6pt and 8pt margin on the two occasions they met this year and will carry this mental edge into the game. As they say, three strikes and you’re out!
Gold Coast Goannas v South West Metro Pirates, Sat 8th Aug @ 7pm (Tallebudgera Leisure Centre)-
The Goannas finished 4th in their pool in 2008 as a result of a countback between Logan and Toowoomba (all finished on 10 and 8). This year under new Coach Ron Radliffe they have managed to keep up the required workload in the weakest of all the QBL pools to secure a home Quarter Final. The balance in this game lies in the hands of Gurney and McGregor who have been troopers all year. Gurney can call himself the League’s strongest free throw shooter (91.9%) and his move from Toowoomba to the Gold Coast this year has been an incredibly smooth transition. The Pirates storm into this weekend on a 5-game winning streak and ready for a weekend in Cairns. They raced thru both games in Round 15 with Teys, Cameron, Ammar and Niesler building momentum at the right time of year. Their mid-season woes are behind them and they desperately want another Semi Final berth.