The Geraldton Buccaneers are one win away from claiming their third championship in club history when they take on the Joondalup Wolves in the NBL1 West grand final this Saturday. For the second year in a row, Geraldton will play on the big stage for championship glory, trying to redeem last season when they fell just short of the win against the Rockingham Flames, and hoping to improve their 2-6 grand record in grand finals. In a long season in which the Buccs were slow to jump out of the gate, the Geraldton team seemed to have figured it out at the right time, going on a roll to finish second and make it to the grand final. Coach Dayle Joseph said excitement was in the air, but they were not looking to make amends from last year’s loss, approaching their preparation how they always have. “We didn’t do too many things wrong last year. . . I thought we had the better of the Flames for more than three quarters of the game,” he said. “We did a lot of things right and we will hope to use what we’ve done in the past to learn and make adjustments along the way, to help us prepare and be better prepared for the game.” A game with everything on the line, star player Malik Meunier said the team was just focused on the challenge ahead and treating it just like any other game. “I feel good, we’re ready to go, should be a good game and hopefully redeem ourselves from last year,” he said. “Just taking it the same as we have each game this year, we don’t try to change it up too much, sort of keeping routine and just make sure we stay focused and ready to go.” While all the hype was around a 2022 rematch, it was the Wolves who came out on top against the Flames, but Buccs captain Aaron Ralph said it changed nothing for them. “It doesn’t matter, the grand final is the grand final, it does not matter who you play, Joondalup are going to be tough as hell,” he said. “They got a really good roster and a lot of talent on that team, so they’re going to be tough.” During the regular season, the Buccs and Wolves split the games with each winning at home, now they will play a third and final time at a mutual ground. Joseph said the team they face on Saturday would be completely different from what they had faced in the previous two matches. “An injured (Quinton) Dove didn’t play against us when they came up to Geraldton, he was a runner-up MVP and a candidate for years to come,” he said. “In the first fame the big Ioannis (Dimakopoulos) didn’t play in the first one either. . . I think in their own admissions they haven’t all played together for quite some time, and they’re probably coming really good at the right time of the year.” While both the Buccs and Wolves have the ability to go on a scoring roll, Joseph said that the other side of the ball was what would win them the game. “Our defence will be a key I think, if we can slow up their score, they’re a high scoring team. . . trying to make those scoring opportunities difficult,” he said. “Try and make them shoot a low percentage and give ourselves an opportunity to rebound and run.” The Geraldton Buccaneers will take on the Joondalup Wolves at Bendat Basketball Stadium this Saturday, August 12, from 7pm.