ROUND 7 PREVIEW
Kilsyth Cobras v Sydney Metro Blues- Friday 15th June @8pm
Kilsyth Cobras v Sydney Metro Blues- Saturday 16th June @8pm
Kilsyth Cobras v Sydney Metro Blues- Sunday 17th June @9.30am
With just two games remaining in their regular season following this round, Sydney Metro face a do-or-die weekend against the Cobras as they need three victories to keep their finals hopes alive.
Kilsyth are sitting in a much more comfortable position, placed fourth while having played the least amount of games and while that means they have a busy final three rounds leading into the playoffs, the Cobras still have a shot at finishing first.
Back on court as a team for the first time since Round 3, Kilsyth may be a little rusty on Friday night although Tristan Knowles has enjoyed some solid court time during the Rollers tour of Japan last week which will help his personal momentum.
The second most productive team offensively in the competition, the Cobras will be aiming to take advantage of Sydney Metro who own the leakiest defence in the league with Knowles (averaging 28.9 points per game) and Jontee Brown (12.3 points, 13.9 rebounds).
CJ McCarthy-Grogan and Anderson Parker, combining for 42 points per contest, have the ability to match them on the scoreboard but they will need others to step up and with the WNWBL Blues team also competing this weekend, they could find themselves with a short roster.
Wollongong Rollerhawks v Adelaide Thunder- Saturday 16th June @5pm
Wollongong Rollerhawks v Adelaide Thunder- Sunday 17th June @10am
Currently sitting in first place, Wollongong will be aiming to take advantage of two contests with the bottom-placed Thunder as the four teams directly below them on the ladder are all circling and still have a chance to dethrone them before the playoffs begin.
After starting the season with eight wins in a row, the Rollerhawks have stumbled slightly with only three victories from their past six games and three of their stars (Brett Stibners, Michael Auprince and Luke Pople) have just returned from a four-game series in Japan with the Rollers.
Adelaide will be hoping that means those players are fatigued but the reverse effect could happen with the Rollerhawks trio having more recent court time compared to the Thunder that have not played in a fortnight.
They took it up to Queensland in three close games last round and will need to bring that mentality into this weekend.
With Luke Watkins back in the side, Adelaide now have four players averaging double-figures in scoring which will help them keep up with the Rollerhawks fast-paced offence.
Red Dust Heelers v Queensland Spinning Bullets- Saturday 16th June @7pm
Red Dust Heelers v Queensland Spinning Bullets - Sunday 17th June @9am
On a four-game winning streak, Red Dust have raced into playoff contention and they can now create some serious doubt within the top teams on the ladder with success against the Spinning Bullets.
The home side fell to Queensland in Round 1 by 46 points but since then, Brad Ness has re-found his best form to average a double-double on the season, Jannik Blair is back in the side and recording nine points per game while Josh Turek has been a revelation, collecting a league-best 32.9 points, 11 rebounds (third in the league) and 8.6 assists (fourth) per contest.
In addition, Tony Wade, Jake Kavanagh and Rob Pike are all solid contributors and now with a deep roster, the Heelers are a serious threat for not only the playoffs but the Championship as well.
They will still be tested by the Spinning Bullets though, who have arguably the deepest team in the league thanks to eight players averaging over seven points per game.
Steven Elliott could be playing with new-found confidence this weekend after touring Japan with the Aussie Rollers while Nicholas Radovich and Jordan Bartley stepped up admirably in the absence of Tom O’Neill-Thorne last round.
With their on-court leader back, O’Neill-Thorne will need to match the increased offensive output of Red Dust’s top scorers but it should make for a high-scoring and entertaining series this weekend.