Pressure on for finals glory

Headshot of Justin Fris
Justin FrisSouth Western Times
A-Men side Tornadoes Black are one of four sides gunning for grand final glory tomorrow night.
Camera IconA-Men side Tornadoes Black are one of four sides gunning for grand final glory tomorrow night. Credit: Justin Fris

Championship glory is only 40 minutes away for all four sides competing in the Bunbury Basketball Association A-grade grand finals tomorrow night at the South West Sports Centre.

Basketball royalty will also be on the sidelines among spectators, with legendary Perth Wildcats import Cal Bruton – who is in town for a series of coaching and skills clinics over the weekend – on hand to view Bunbury’s latest crop of talent.

At 5.30pm, A-Women minor premiers Tornadoes Black take on Dunsborough Oilers, who have qualified for the decider in their inaugural BBA campaign.

Black earned a week off following its comprehensive second semi-final victory over the Oilers, and should go into the game as warm favourites, considering their dominance over the league debutants this season.

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The Oilers found themselves in a big hole during Friday night’s preliminary final against Tornadoes Red, when they trailed 45-26 at half-time and were unable to capitalise on multiple long range offensive looks.

Reverting to predominantly inside shooting during the second period, the youthful Oilers over-ran their experienced opponents and prevailed 81-78 in overtime.

In order for the Oilers to cause an upset, they will need to utilise their speed and ensure they cash in on offensive opportunities when they present themselves. The Oilers defence will also need to keep tabs on Ebony Bilcich, Javene Fitch and Cian Parsons, who could all put up big numbers if they get the hot hand early.

Reigning premiers Bulls will reconvene with Tornadoes Black in the A-Men grand final at 7.45pm and will be keen to end its memorable season with another grand final win.

Bulls topped Black 100-98 in the second semi-final after surviving a late surge from the plucky second-placed side. Both sides are extremely well matched, with all regular season meetings – excluding Bulls’ forfeit in Round 17 – decided by under six points.

The Bunbury Basketball Association stamped itself as the elite senior association across regional WA men’s basketball, after its Championship men’s side finished undefeated in the pool stage and defeated Albany 54-31 in the grand final, with Clive Weeden scoring a game-high 22 points.

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