Pumas, Chapman Valley set for GABA prelim showdown

Peter SweeneyGeraldton Guardian
Buccs teammates Aaron Ralph (10) and Liam Hunt surround Caleb Davis of the Senators, but tonight they are rivals when Chapman Valley and Pumas clash.
Camera IconBuccs teammates Aaron Ralph (10) and Liam Hunt surround Caleb Davis of the Senators, but tonight they are rivals when Chapman Valley and Pumas clash. Credit: Arctic Moon Photography

The grand finalists of last year are playing off for a grand final spot this year.

That’s the story in the Geraldton Amateur Basketball Association tonight, when Pumas and Chapman Valley clash.

This time last year, Pumas put a stop to the Chapman Valley juggernaut, which had spent a decade winning titles. And last week, Olympians upset the Valley lads to advance to the big dance of 2019.

Beaten on the board and with bruised egos, CV will be bristling come the 6.15pm tip-off.

The Matt Wundenberg (CV) and Liam Hunt (Pumas) match-up has tongues wagging, while the showpiece of the contest will be which of the numerous three-point shooters steps up most.

When the men’s game is over and one team is in mothballs for months, the women will step out and do their thing at 7.45pm.

Trades beat Hawks four times during the season, but that stat now counts for zilch.

They were close contests, so the Hawks will reckon it’s time to talk, and they will be buoyed by the 20-point drubbing reigning premiers Stateside dished out to Trades in the semi, which earns the winner a grand final berth.

Maddy Graham and Abby Maynard are prolific scorers for the Hawks, while a team game and defence are the hallmarks of Trades, where Kayley King, Hannah Trusso and Mikala Cooper are key players.

The winners of the two preliminary finals will return to Active-west Stadium on Saturday night, taking on Olympians (men) and Stateside (women) in the grand finals.

Meanwhile, judging by the way the Geraldton Buccaneers went in three SBL warm-up matches in Perth at the weekend, Activewest Stadium will be a full house on Saturday week when the season proper opens.

The Buccs were unbeaten in games with the Rockingham Flames (their opening round opponents), the Perth Wildcats development squad and the Goldfields Giants. The Buccs won 70-41, 69-55 and 102-54.

The Stirling Senators and the East Perth Eagles were also unbeaten.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails