Battle ready Buccs seek inspiration

Reuben CarderGeraldton Guardian
Will Galvin against Cougars’ Zac Watkinson last round.
Camera IconWill Galvin against Cougars’ Zac Watkinson last round. Credit: Arctic Moon Photography

Geraldton Buccaneers coach Dayle Joseph says his side are finding inspiration from a fellow battler at the end of a gruelling first NBL1 West campaign marred by injury, player departures, lockdowns, and natural disasters.

With two games to go — assuming there are no further lockdowns in WA — Joseph said his side had looked to people such as men’s 10,000m Olympic runner Patrick Tiernan, who has been hailed a hero at the Tokyo 2020 Games for crossing the line after collapsing twice.

“We’ve used that analogy,” Joseph, pictured above, said. “He might not have won, but everyone is proud of his performance.

“The line’s near, we’ve just got to get to it and do ourselves proud.

“That’s not the end of his running, he’ll go away and get better and stronger and prepare for the next event.

“We’ll do exactly the same. We’ll use everything that’s happened in 2021 as experience and make ourselves better for next season.”

Geraldton are on the road to take on two sides that have won four of their past five outings. The Buccs are two and three from their last five, and sit 11th on the ladder, out of reach of the finals, although they have played fewer games than any other side in a stop-start season with postponements and cancellations because of COVID-19 and cyclone Seroja. They play Willetton at 8pm tonight and Joondalup at 2pm tomorrow.

They have lost State Basketball League veteran and ex-Perth Wildcat Mathiang Muo, who has gone to Rwanda for international duty with the South Sudan side.

Veterans Aaron Ralph and Mat Wundenberg have also suffered season-ending injuries, while fellow 2019 SBL championship ring winner Liam Hunt is still out following a leg-break in last year’s development competition after the league was cancelled.

Brayden Inger and James Paringatai have also left this season, while other members of the championship squad, including Marcus Alipate, departed after the grand final. The Buccs also lost New Zealander Taine Wattie, who headed home when the trans-Tasman bubble closed earlier this season.

Joseph said he hoped Dylan Myers would be available this weekend, while Aidan Gardiner would be out in preparation for a return to the US to attend college.

Will Galvin has been immense for the Buccs recently, while youngsters Harry Evans, Tom Dobson, Robert Griechen and Jackson Patten have impressed.

The games will be streamed for free on the NBL1 website.

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