Pumped up Eagles bare talons in vital third quarter
A third quarter lapse from the Printsync South West Slammers men’s program cost them dearly in Saturday night’s 108-98 loss to the East Perth Eagles at Eaton Recreation Centre.
The home side led 51-46 at half-time and looked on course for an opening round victory – but the Eagles had other ideas.
The Slammers missed the services of 203cm playmaker Chris Douglas, with coach John Triscari confirming post-game he had been attending a friend’s wedding.
Height proved to be a deficiency at times for both sides – however what they lacked in stature, they made up for in mental application and hustle.
With some calming words from Eagles assistant coach Colin Driscoll, who was filling in for coach Adam Forde who was away in Melbourne, the visitors burst out of the locker room in the second half.
Their appetite to throw themselves into every battle was contagious, with impressive American import Cameron Williams (22 points, five rebounds, three assists) leading the charge.
Williams engaged in an absorbing duel with Slammers veteran Michael Lay, with both players throwing every ounce of physical exertion under the glass at both ends of the court.
Gradually this hustle translated into 31 points for the quarter, with the Eagles’ 10-0 offensive late run dousing hopes of a Slammers’ victory.
With the margin hovering in double digits, hard-working Slammers American import Tyler Livingston (33 points, 12 rebounds, two assists) shrugged off some knee soreness following a tumble to help his side fight back, while James Goodlad, (21 points, eight rebounds, one assist) did himself plenty of favours towards securing a starting spot.
Roughly 14 hours after his team’s loss on Saturday night, Printsync South West Slammers coach John Triscari was at the Ray Owen Sports Centre in Kalamunda – scouting the Eastern Suns ahead of their round four clash.
In regard to the Slammers’ performance the night before, Triscari gave an honest appraisal.
“That game was ours to win at half-time,” he said.
“I told them that there would be pressure. I don’t know if it was fatigue, but we just got executed.
“The theme of the team talk post-game was about buying into the offence, know the scouting report and we will get some wins.”
Eagles assistant coach Colin Driscoll was thrilled with the win – along with the debut of livewire American Cameron Williams.
“He has been here two weeks and we are excited to have him,” he said.
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