Giants split road trip to remain in sight of top eight

Neale HarveyKalgoorlie Miner
Giants’ Hamish Cummings battles the Mandurah Magic.
Camera IconGiants’ Hamish Cummings battles the Mandurah Magic. Credit: Madeleine Clark/Supplied

The Goldfields Giants’ men’s team split the weekend’s NBL1 road trip to remain within striking distance of the top eight ahead of a crucial three-game home stand at Niels Hansen Stadium.

De’Sean Parsons and Randy Bell combined for 43 points and 11 rebounds in Saturday’s 85-74 win over South West Slammers, and captain Jerome Reid had 10 points off the bench.

But Goldfields’ hopes of a series sweep were foiled in Sunday’s 87-78 defeat by Mandurah Magic in Reid’s 200th game for the club.

A winnable game slipped away for the Giants, who were left in the starting gates and trailed by 10 points at quarter-time.

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It was a deficit they couldn’t haul back — despite shading the remaining three quarters, 59-58.

Bell led the Giants on Sunday with 24 points and seven assists, and Hamish Cummings contributed 12 points off the bench.

However, their output was overshadowed in the opposition camp by Joel Murray (25 points; seven assists) and ex-Giant Julian Pesava, whose major role off the bench yielded 24 points and six rebounds against his old club.

The Giants are ninth, but just one win separates them from seventh-placed East Perth Eagles.

Additionally, the Giants are back at home this Saturday night against Lakeside, and also for a double-header on the long weekend of June 1-2 against Rockingham and East Perth, respectively.

Lakeside are 10th, but they have a game in hand over the Giants.

Giants interim coach Sharni Winter said the group looked forward to being back on their home court.

“Road trips are always tough, and the Bunbury leg is even harder because we didn’t get back to the hotel until midnight,” she said.

“By the time you wind down, have dinner and all of those things, you’re not in bed until 1am.

“It showed because we had a slow start in that (Sunday) game.

“But now we get these (three) home games which we love — we know our routine and we can really prepare for these games, which is nice.

“Every game is winnable — it largely depends on who comes to play on the night, and we made great improvements after the previous (weekend).

“Even though we didn’t get the result on Sunday, we still made improvements.”

Twelve matches are left in the qualifying series as the Giants eye off a return to the play-offs for the first time in two seasons.

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