NBL1 West season: Geraldton Buccaneers squad grows strong as away double-header looms

Reuben CarderGeraldton Guardian
The Buccaneers hope Taine Wattie will return from injury this weekend.
Camera IconThe Buccaneers hope Taine Wattie will return from injury this weekend. Credit: Arctic Moon Photography

The Geraldton Buccaneers are hoping to suit up their strongest squad of the NBL1 West season so far this weekend as they hit the road for another away double-header.

Coach Dayle Joseph said he was hoping the Buccs would be strengthened by new signings Taine Wattie, who may return from injury, and Brandon Holloway, who played his first minutes for the side last round as he recovers from a knee problem.

The coach said the Buccs needed wins against a Cockburn Cougars side below them on the table and the Perth Redbacks, who are just above them, to stay in touch with the top eight.

“Taine Wattie is coming back to play after four to five games out and he’ll travel with us,” Joseph said.

“Brandon pulled up pretty well from the two games on the weekend and trained really well.

“He’ll be able to front up for the road trip. We really need to be winning two to keep us in contention.

“We really want to be coming home with two wins. This will still be our strongest team we’ve put on the floor all season.”

He said Aidan Gardiner, a member of the 2019 championship squad, could be available but the Buccs were still waiting on paperwork. Gardiner has been completing high school in the US.

On Saturday the Buccs face a Cockburn Cougars side with a 4-1 win-loss record, before taking to the court on Sunday against a Perth Redbacks side on 3-2.

The Redbacks sit in seventh on the ladder, with the Cougars 11th and the Buccs 10th.

The Buccs notched an impressive 81-62 win over the East Perth Eagles last Saturday but lost 88-69 to Joondalup Wolves on Sunday.

Aaron Ralph put up 13 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and four steals against the Eagles, while Holloway grabbed nine points, Mat Wundenberg had eight points and 12 rebounds, and new signing Elijah Barbour had eight points, three boards and two assists.

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