Testing weekend for Slammers

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Mitchell WoodcockSouth Western Times
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The Printsync South West Slammers are one of the in-form teams of the State Basketball League, but face a tough challenge this weekend when they battle the Perth Redbacks and Geraldton Buccaneers in back-to-back contests.

The Slammers begin their double-header weekend tomorrow night at Belmont Oasis when they battle Perth Wildcat legend Shawn Redhage and his Redbacks, followed by a home court clash against the Buccs at the Eaton Recreation Centre.

Last time the Slammers met the Redbacks, they suffered a 22-point loss, with the visitors having five players score more than 10 points.

But the Slammers were without Brian Voelkel, who has made a real impact in the rebound count and has helped solidify the team’s defence since coming into the team.

Coach Charles Nix said the Slammers had come a long way defensively since the two teams first met.

“We hadn’t established our identity and gained that chemistry,” he said.

“There has been a real change in us defensively since we last met them.

“But defence is a major focus of ours and we are still working hard on it.”

Nix said the third-placed Buccs would present a tough challenge defensively as well, having scored 117 points against the Redbacks at the weekend.

But the coach feels they have the advantage on the paint and believes if they get good looks to co-captain Clive Weeden, then he can hurt the opposition on the scoreboard.

The Slammers will have to be wary of Buccs import Dwayne Benjamin, who is averaging 23 points a game, including scoring 32 points at the weekend.

Combined with Maurice Barrow (19 ppg, 8rpg) and the Buccs pose a serious offensive threat to the South West side.

The Slammers will take on the Buccs at the Eaton Recreation Centre from 8pm on Saturday night.

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