Geraldton Buccaneers look to avoid hiccups against revamped East Perth Eagles squad

Jake Santa Maria and Lachlan AllenGeraldton Guardian
Buccs' Cameron Coleman in action against the Redbacks.
Camera IconBuccs' Cameron Coleman in action against the Redbacks. Credit: Arctic Moon Photography

Two sides at opposite ends of the NBL1-West ladder are to set face-off this weekend as the East Perth Eagles make the trip to Geraldton.

As we pass the halfway mark of the season, the Buccaneers are sitting on top, with 12 wins and one loss, and a win percentage of 92.30.

Their opponents, the Eagles, are currently 1-12 and have lost their last eight games but Buccs coach Dayle Joseph is wary, saying it could be a danger game.

“They’ve recruited heavily in the past couple weeks bringing on Shaquille Maharaj, Sergio Diego Soarez and Lee Roberts,” he said.

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“The team that hits the floor this weekend will not be reflective of where they’ve been so far this season.”

The Buccanneers will still be without star Mathiang Muo who is currently competing for South Sudan in the African qualifiers for the Basketball World Cup.

Joseph hopes he will have him back next weekend but believes the key to their success so far this season has been the fact they haven’t been reliant on a single player.

“Sometimes you don’t need to have that power player who does the bulk of the scoring,” he said.

“If we can see our opposition is relying on someone we can move on to them and shut them down.

“But when they come against us they may try and stop Cameron Coleman or Shaun Stewart but that just leaves guys like Malik Meunier or Johny Narkle open to step up.”

That squad depth is reflected in the season stats — despite being top of the ladder only one player is in the top five for any of the key stat markers with Stewart tied equal fifth for assists per game.

For points, rebounds or blocks no Buccs players feature but have a far more even distribution among the group compared to their rivals.

And there won’t be any complacency against the Eagles despite their lowly position.

“The guys are super competitive, they don’t like losing a free throw competition at training so they’ll be switched on for the weekend,” Joseph said.

The Buccs will tip-off against the Eagles at 7pm Saturday at Activewest Stadium.

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