ROUND 2 REVIEW
A couple of upsets have peppered Round 2 as the race to the top four tightens up with Wollongong Rollerhawks still leading the pack on top of the ladder.
Wollongong faced Sydney Metro Blues three times over the weekend and started in fine fashion as they secured a 75-55 victory on Friday night.
Their range of scorers got the job done with four starters scoring 12+ including Brett Stibners (28 points, eight rebounds, six assists) and Michael Auprince (12 points, 12 rebounds).
Joseph Chambers did score 22 off the bench to pace the Blues and another exceptional performance from him on Saturday night (14 points, 16 boards, five assists, one block) led Sydney Metro a 67-64 road win.
Trailing at three-quarter time, John McPhail (ten points, four assists) put the Blues ahead in the final minute before CJ McCarthy-Grogan (24 points, eight rebounds, eight assists) hit a lay-up.
Nick Taylor responded for the Rollerhawks but Sydney Metro were able to clinch the game from the free-throw line in a victory that held their top-two placing on the ladder.
Wollongong were able to get their revenge on Sunday when the series switched to Minto as Stibners and Auprince combined for 51 points while Taylor almost had a triple-double with 11 points, nine boards and 11 assists.
Chambers capped off a strong weekend with 21 points and ten rebounds off the bench and that production from their second unit is a major asset that will bode well for the rest of the season.
On the other side of the country, Red Dust Heelers were able to keep Adelaide Thunder winless in two meetings but the newest team in the competition showed signs that their debut victory is not far away.
Adam Roocke again led them with 15 points per contest but Beau Buckley shouldered some of the scoring load with nine points per game while Jay Dohnt averaged 7.5 points and two steals as they came within eight points of the Heelers in their second meeting.
Red Dust will be pleased to come out of Round 2 with consecutive wins though as Brad Ness was absent for the weekend.
Adam Deans shone with a double-double average of 15.5 points and 11.5 rebounds, Ryan Morich added 11 points, 7.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists while Jannik Blair and Rob Pike both hit double-figures in scoring in respective games.
In the third series of Round 2, an undermanned Be Active Perth Wheelcats were unable to keep up with the Queensland Spinning Bullets across two games.
The road team had just five players hit the court in both clashes although a strong final term saw them fall 60-65 on Saturday night before losing by 17 points the following day.
Kim Robins paced them with 27.5 points per game and Chihiro Kitada (8.5 points, 15.5 rebounds) was a monster on the glass but Perth could not contain the Bullets who were led by captain Matt McShane (17.5 points, 3.5 assists).
Tom O’Neill-Thorne also impressed, scoring 18 points in the second meeting while Daniel Anstey, Nick Radovich, Anderson Parker and Kurt Thomson all enjoyed solid weekends.
Following their two losses, the Wheelcats have dropped out of the top four with Red Dust sitting third and the Bullets now filling up the final playoff spot in fourth.
Round 3 tips off this weekend with the Thunder hosting the Blues, the Wheelcats facing the Kilsyth Cobras and Red Dust going up against the Rollerhawks.