ROUND 3 PREVIEW
Preview Round 3 of the 2017 season with six teams hitting the court.
Adelaide Thunder v Sydney Metro Blues- Saturday 3rd June @4.30pm
Adelaide Thunder v Sydney Metro Blues- Sunday 4th June @11am
With two victories this weekend, the Blues could move to the top of the ladder depending on results from the Rollerhawks but the Thunder will be just as desperate as they can move off the bottom of the ladder with a successful round.
Sydney Metro were able to grab one win off Wollongong last weekend with the arrival of Joseph Chambers (19 points, 10.7 rebounds per game) giving them a boost off the bench while CJ McCarthy-Grogan was awarded the Player of the Week for his consistent performance over the three games.
The Blues still have a negative net rating on the season though, mainly courtesy of a big Round 1 loss to Kilsyth with Adelaide the only other team to own a negative net rating.
The home side does not seem to be far off their maiden victory after falling to Red Dust by an average of 13 points last weekend and they would love to get on the winners list in front of their home fans for the first time in 2017.
Adam Roocke is their main offensive weapon, averaging 13.5 points per game and he also sits third in the competition for three-pointers made.
He will need the likes of Beau Buckley to continue to aid him offensively while Jay Dohnt’s defensive capabilities will have to be at their peak if the Thunder are to grab a victory.
Wollongong Rollerhawks v Red Dust Heelers- Saturday 3rd June @7pm
Wollongong Rollerhawks v Red Dust Heelers- Sunday 4th June @11am
Despite a loss to Sydney Metro on Saturday night, Wollongong still recorded two wins on Friday and Sunday to maintain their top position.
They will face the third-placed Heelers who swept Adelaide in two meetings in Round 2 although the Heelers fell to the Rollerhawks in Round 1 by five points.
Brad Ness was the stand-out for Red Dust in that clash, recording 17 points and 15 rebounds but he was absent from last weekend and if he misses again, things will be a lot tougher for the Heelers coming up against the ladder leaders this round.
Last meeting, the Rollerhawks were benefited by a double-double to Michael Auprince while Brett Stibners fell just short of a triple-double with 13 points, seven boards and eight assists as four starters hit double-figures and it is that spread that will be a concern for the visitors again on Saturday and Sunday.
The likes of Adam Deans, Jake Kavanagh and Jannik Blair will need to match that range of scorers if Red Dust are to be successful.
Be Active Perth Wheelcats v Kilsyth Cobras- Saturday 3rd June @7pm
Be Active Perth Wheelcats v Kilsyth Cobras- Sunday 4th June @11am
A spot in the top four is on offer for one of these clubs courtesy of a bye for the Spinners but they will both be aiming for two wins to put a gap between themselves and their closest rivals on the ladder.
Perth were gallant in Round 2 against Queensland but without Shaun Norris and Amber Merritt available, they played a double-header with only five players and fell in both contests.
Chihiro Kitada was a monster on the boards and Kim Robins combined well with Thomas McHugh to keep the scoreboard ticking over but without a bench, the odds were always against the Wheelcats.
Kilsyth enjoyed a break last weekend, following the opening round in which they went 2-1.
One of those victories came against Perth as Tristan Knowles out-scored Rollers team mate Norris with 37 points while Josh Allison and Shawn Russell helped Kilsyth to a critical advantage on the glass.
Without Norris, the Wheelcats will struggle to match Knowles on the scoreboard but even with his return, last year’s Runners-Up do look vulnerable in 2017.