Joy at Buccaneers’ win
Actions, they say, speak louder than words.
Just how much the Geraldton Buccaneers 79-68 semifinal win meant to coach Dayle Joseph was evident two minutes after the final buzzer.
The level-headed Joseph climbed into the stands and embraced his wife Tanya, family and friends.
There was applause, the fans loving it nearly as much as they loved what they had just seen.
“This was a team effort, on and off the court,” the coach said on Sunday.
“The family sacrifices so much for me to do this. I wanted to share it with them, to thank them.”
Joseph also expressed his gratitude to the fans — who he said make Activewest Stadium “very challenging, but also inviting for visiting teams” — to his coaches, the assistants and the players.
He even thanked the opposition.
According to Joseph, the Lakeside Lightning give the game and the SBL something “special”.
“Because of their background (religious beliefs) they are very disciplined and play respectfully. There is no niggle. If you give people respect, people respect you. That’s in life, not just sport,” Joseph said.
The coach revealed the Buccs don’t only admire the way Lightning present themselves, but how they play.
In fact, the Buccs last week prepared and practised more of a Lightning-like game.
“We had to adapt our game to play more like the way they do,” Joseph said of the club which finished a spot above them in the regular season.
“One week to do it and we did it. I was so proud of the players. So proud of what they executed.
“Everybody contributed, it was a team effort. Some may think they didn’t contribute points-wise, but they did in other areas.
“It was massive.”
There was only two points (Lightning up) between the teams at the first break; the Buccs led by one point at half-time; and it was 57-all turning for home.
Ralph, Hunt, Alipate, Ducas and Lasher — the same five who had started the contest — lined up to start the final 10 minutes.
And did they start!
The seemingly ageless Ralph dropped five points in the blink of an eye, and the Buccs rushed to seven points up within 75 seconds and 10 points up within three minutes.
Last time the Lakeside Lightning were here just a month back, they were 10 points in arrears early in the last — and won by 10.
Though they did peg it back and got within four, there was to be no repeat this time, as the Buccs weren’t allowing it.
And so the teams lock heads again in Perth on Saturday night — and on Sunday if necessary.
“We would prefer if it’s over on Saturday night and have a relaxed breakfast on Sunday rather than preparing for another game,” Joseph said.
“It’s the same routine this week — keep it simple.
“We will go down on Saturday morning and stay at the same hotel and do the same things.”
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