Geraldton Buccaneers confident ahead of grand final showdown

Francesca MannGeraldton Guardian
Geraldton Buccaneers sing their song after defeating Warwick Senators in the State Basketball League qualifying finals.
Camera IconGeraldton Buccaneers sing their song after defeating Warwick Senators in the State Basketball League qualifying finals. Credit: Arctic Moon Photography

Geraldton Buccaneers coach Dayle Joseph says his side are in tip-top shape ahead of Saturday’s State Basketball League grand final showdown with the Joondalup Wolves.

The Buccs, runners-up in 2014, hope to end a championship drought dating back to 2000, while Joondalup, champions in 2015, have been runners-up for the past three years.

Joseph said his players were nursing a few sore muscles after winning two of three semifinals against Lakeside Lightning to advance.

“It was a really tough game — our guys got knocked around — but it was a fair battle of basketball,” he said.

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“What we’ve achieved so far and the contest we’ve been involved in gives us some sort of confidence that we can match the best and grind out a win.

“We can have things not go our way and still win, and there’s no better time to do that than in a grand final.”

A four-hour drive to Perth did not stop fans from cheering on the Buccs in two nerve-wrecking games against Lakeside.

Joseph believes about half the crowd at the Lakeside Recreation Centre on Sunday, August 25, were Buccs fans, giving the boys a much-needed morale boost after a disappointing seven-point loss to Lakeside Lightning the night before.

Back home more than 300 people watched Sunday’s “do or die” clash via a live stream on the Buccs’ Facebook page.

Despite trailing for most of the game, the Buccs managed to nab a 10-point lead in the last few minutes, securing their place in the State Basketball League grand final for the first time since 2014.

Joseph said he was really proud of how his team played and how much love they got from the crowd.

“It was an amazing game, it could have gone either way,” Joseph said.

“There were times in both games where the game could have slipped away from us.

“Our supporters are really loud and they get really behind the guys.

“It makes a difference when you’re down and there’s people out there really believing in you.”

The Buccs will take on Joondalup at 7.30pm on Saturday at Bendat Basketball Centre in Floreat.

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