Geraldton Buccaneers rally to topple Goldfields Giants

Francesca MannGeraldton Guardian
Buccaneers' Marcus Alipate goes up against the Goldfields Giants' David Humphries during Sunday’s game.
Camera IconBuccaneers' Marcus Alipate goes up against the Goldfields Giants' David Humphries during Sunday’s game. Credit: Arctic Moon Photography

After a frustrating one-point loss on Saturday night, the Geraldton Buccaneers bounced back on Sunday, sailing to a 27-point win over the Goldfields Giants.

The back-to-back games put both State Basketball League teams to the test physically and mentally, with the Buccs and the Giants travelling 1400km for the round 7 matches.

Energy levels were low for Saturday night’s match in Kalgoorlie-Boulder, allowing the Giants to slip into the lead, 86-85.

But on Sunday afternoon, and with a supportive home crowd cheering them on, the Buccs refused to go down a second time, claiming an 86-59 victory.

Buccs coach Dayle Joseph said the Easter break may have hindered their performance in Kalgoorlie, but their fighting spirit was well and truly back in Geraldton.

“The guys take a lot of pride in their game,” Joseph said.

“We quickly realised we weren’t up to tempo and where we got beat, and we realised it was not going to take much to change.

“Their energy defensively made it a lot tougher for the Giants.

“We took a bit of a setback but we’ll keep adding to our game, and that turnaround is a good sign we’re moving forward.”

Buccs import Willie Conner was out for most of the game, coming off the court in the first quarter after an impressive jump shot.

Joseph confirmed Conner had “pulled up a bit sore” but should be able to play against Mandurah Magic on May 4.

Although the Magic are hovering around the bottom of the ladder, Joseph said he wouldn’t discount them.

“They have a knack of beating us at home, whether they’re at the top of the ladder or the bottom,” he said.

“Last year we lost three games, and one was to Mandurah, who only won three games.

“Their coach, Aaron Trahair, is a previous coach of the Buccs so he knows our game a little bit and knows what we’re about.

“We’ll have to be a bit smarter ... and focus on trying to get better at what we just did.”

The Buccs will host Mandurah Magic at Activewest Stadium on Saturday.

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