Buccs face red-hot Senators in showdown

Matthew WoodleyGeraldton Guardian

The S&K Geraldton Buccaneers are chasing their fourth consecutive home win in tomorrow night’s game against the in-form Stirling Senators, however they’ll be coming up against a side desperate to protect a streak of their own.

The third-placed Senators, coached by the legendary Mike Ellis, haven’t dropped points in their past five games since a stirring come from behind victory against the Cockburn Cougars, and possess one of the deepest rosters in the SBL.

The squad is headlined by Illawarra Hawk Cody Ellis and 2015-16 NBL championship winning Perth Wildcat Corban Wroe.

Buccs coach Aaron Trahair is under no illusions as to the challenges they’ll pose.

“Stirling are probably the hottest team in the league … they share the ball really well and the iconic name of Ellis will be leading them from the sideline and on the court,” he said.

However, the former NBL veteran is confident his side will put in a good performance on a night that will also honour our Anzacs.

“It’s just a time to show our respect and appreciation for everything that was done in the past so we can basically have the lifestyle and a lot of the things we take for granted today,” he said.

“This weekend is probably the highlight of the regular season and I know the boys are really looking forward to playing and getting out there and showing what they’ve got.”

RSL president Ian Heberle will read The Ode ahead of tip-off as part of the commemorations and said sporting events like tomorrow night’s game were a vital way of communicating the Anzac legend to younger generations.

“It’s important to everybody because if it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t be here anymore,” he said.

“We’ve got to remember what they did for us, putting their life on the line, to help secure our freedom and our future.”

Starting point guard Beau Samuelson made a strong return from a wrist injury last weekend against Rockingham and said he was hoping to see a big crowd at Activewest Stadium.

“It’s always nice when you’re in a town like this and people come out for weekends like that, and hopefully we’ll get some of the Anzac guys in and we can play a good game for them,” he said.

“That last game gave a bit more confidence to myself, (in terms of) shooting the ball and hopefully I’ll bring that into the next game and keep it moving forward.”

The Senators will be a tough match-up because their tendency to play ‘small ball’ basketball, but Trahair said the Buccs would try and use that to their advantage.

“They don’t really have a big centre that most teams have. They’re pretty quick and athletic all over the court so we’re going to have our hands full,” he said.

“Mat (Wundenberg) will be a little bit of a focus this week because physically they don’t really have a match-up for him.”

Tip off for tomorrow night’s game is at 7.30, however spectators are encouraged to arrive early to pay their respects.

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