Long road ahead to victory

Headshot of Justin Fris
Justin FrisSouth Western Times
Printsync South West Slammers coach John Triscari will coach the Slammers’ D-League and SBL teams on Saturday night in Geraldton.
Camera IconPrintsync South West Slammers coach John Triscari will coach the Slammers’ D-League and SBL teams on Saturday night in Geraldton. Credit: Justin Fris

The Printsync South West Slammers will make one of the longest road trips in the SBL on Saturday, when they head to Activewest Stadium to take on the high-flying Geraldton Buccaneers.

In a boost for the hosts, Buccs coach Dayle Joseph confirmed starters Mat Wundenberg and American import Colter Lasher would both likely suit up – with both men not playing last week due to minor injuries.

Buccaneers: Opened the season with a gritty 86-70 win over the Rockingham Flames at home. Struggled offensively early, with several players – including new American import Willie “Fear The Beard” Connor – appearing anxious at times when presented with various offensive situations. Buckled down on the boards in the final three quarters, with three of the five starters finishing with double digit tallies. Skipper Aaron Ralph, filling in for Wundenberg, also had eight steals. The Buccs also forced the Flames into committing 25 turnovers and cashed in 21 points from those opportunities.

Slammers: Displayed patches of brilliance during their opening round loss to the Eagles, but a lapse in the third quarter ended any hopes of a victory. Committed 20 overall turnovers, with four starters putting up 11 shots or more. James Goodlad and Brody England also staked their claims for a starting spot.

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Triscari’s take

On the Activewest Stadium environment: “I would not rather be anywhere else. I love the atmosphere up there.”

On the opportunity for his young players: “They need to show that they have been working since November and seize every single second of opportunity that they can get.”

Joseph’s take

On building depth across the roster: “We go pretty deep, but if you include some of our younger guys, we probably go even deeper — which is fantastic to have. I guess it is my job now to rotate all of those guys and get the best out of them.”

On the Slammers’ strengths: “Tyler Livingston is a likely type of player and is a good shooter from the perimeter, so we will have to watch what he does. We all know what Michael Lay brings to the table. Michael’s always competitive and he played a good game for them last week. Throw in a few young guys who are pretty keen and keen to make their mark at SBL level? It will be a tough game.”

Top performers

South West Slammers (v Eagles)

Tyler Livingston — 33 points (6/12 from the field, 7/12 from beyond the arc, 0/4 from free throw line), four offensive rebounds, eight defensive rebounds, two assists, four turnovers.

Michael Lay — 19 points (7/13 from the field, 1/5 from beyond the arc, 2/3 from free throw line), three offensive rebounds, three defensive rebounds, nine assists, six turnovers.

Scouting report

Geraldton Buccaneers

League position: 3rd; Home record: 1-0; Away record: 0-0; Last round: defeated Rockingham Flames 86-70.

Top performer (v Rockingham Flames)

Brayden Inger — 26 points (8/11 from the field, 2/5 from beyond the arc, 4/5 from free throw line), nine offensive rebounds, three defensive rebounds, one assist, two turnovers.

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