Juniors ballers battle for finals in Geraldton as Buccs gear up for NBL1

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Reuben CarderGeraldton Guardian
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Valleys' Jake Reynolds and Hawks Ace Koltasz.
Camera IconValleys' Jake Reynolds and Hawks Ace Koltasz. Credit: Supplied

The Geraldton Amateur Basketball Association wrapped up its junior semifinals over the weekend as a busy season of local basketball comes to an end.

Trades beat Olympians 60-37 in the boys’ under-18 division one, while Pumas beat Stateside 51-27.

In the girls’ comp, Pumas beat Trades 34-27, while Stateside beat Chapman Valley Maroon 39-36.

Preliminary finals will run this weekend.

In NBL1 news, the Geraldton Buccaneers are gearing up for tip-off in the first season of the competition’s West conference.

Coach Dayle Joseph said the Buccs were training and there had been strong interest from local youngsters.

He said the association was waiting to find out whether imports would be allowed.

“Ideally, we’d love to have them,” Joseph said.

“We’ve been training, (there are) a lot of young guys trialling at the moment.

“Training’s stepped up with some midweek sessions.

“We’ve got four to five weeks of preparation to get our local guys up to speed.”

Among the challenges the team faces are regulations around travel, and bringing in players from overseas.

Administrator Nerolie Gerreyn has previously gone over the challenges faced in bringing players in.

“I’m sure everyone would be aware of that (the restrictions),” she said.

The Buccs have signed veteran swing man Mathiang Muo, a former Perth Wildcat, ahead of the season. “Mathiang will add versatility and championship experience to the Buccaneers,” a Buccs statement said.

Muo previously signed for Geraldton at the beginning of last season, but did not play in the last ever State Basketball League after the competition was cancelled and replaced with a smaller tournament.

The 1.96m Charleston Southern University Class of 2013 alumnus previously managed 15 games in the NBL over two seasons for the Wildcats, with his court time limited because of injury.

He has also played for the Buccs’ regional rivals, the Goldfields Giants, and East Perth in the SBL, and has played for Eastern States teams, winning a South East Australian Basketball League with the Hobart Chargers.

The Buccs confirmed in January Queenslander Jonathon Mines, a 1.93m shooting guard with professional experience in Europe and the Eastern States, would kickstart their roster for the season.

Mines has played for KK Vrijednosnice Osijek in Croatia and ASA Koroivos Amaliadas in Greece.

They have also signed guard Daniel Pitcher from the Eastern States.

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