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NBL1 West 2022: Slammers coach “Buayed” by Tuach and team’s resilience

Headshot of Justin Fris
Justin FrisSouth Western Times
Caleb Van De Griend top scored with 30 points for the Slammers last Saturday night.
Camera IconCaleb Van De Griend top scored with 30 points for the Slammers last Saturday night. Credit: Jon Gellweiler

After months of backing his players in and maintaining belief, South West Slammers men’s coach Shane Goff looked on with pride last Saturday night, as his side downed the Lakeside Lightning 98-97 in a gripping away clash.

While Buay Tuach hit the game-winning shot from beyond the arc and Caleb Van De Griend (30 points) monstered his way inside the paint, the Slammers produced a Herculean effort defensively to curb the influence of Lightning import Landon Taliaferro.

Earlier in the month when both sides met at the Eaton Recreation Centre, Taliaferro, an American with NBA G-League experience, scorched the Slammers with 45 points — and although he finished with 25 points last Saturday, his effectiveness was stifled considerably.

“He had two points in the last quarter and seven in the second half,” Goff said. “Defensively, we were able to shut him down. Yes, a couple of others got some points — and Justin Bennett lit up up from beyond the arc — but we can wear that.

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“It is a matter of taking points off two or three of the opposing starting players which can put us in a position to win a game.

“And thankfully, we were able to get over the line, which is great for the boys. They deserve it and have worked really hard this season.

“I believe the victory will be fantastic for morale within the group.”

Goff and his men will hit the road again this weekend, facing the Cockburn Cougars, a team which got more than they bargained for against the Slammers earlier in the year.

“We spoke about this at training on Tuesday night,” he said. “Nobody is unbeatable. They are in a good position on the ladder and will look to cement themselves in the finals against us — however we want to put a spanner in the works for the Cougars and all the remaining teams we will face.”

Scouting report

(Cougars)

League position: 6th. Last round: defeated Kalamunda Eastern Suns 94-88; top performer (v Eastern Suns) — Seva Chan (11 points — 6/11 field goal attempts, 0/0 three-point attempts, 1/1 free throw attempts, three rebounds, six assists, one steal)

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