The Perth Redbacks have a tantalising double-header in Round 10 of the NBL1 West competition starting with a massive home clash with the Joondalup Wolves tonight before backing it up on Saturday evening with a trip south to take on the South West Slammers at Eaton Recreation Centre.
The Redbacks Women will be attempting to snap a two-game losing streak while the Men looking to stretch their two-game winning run. With both teams holding 4-4 records, this sure shapes as a defining pair of nights in Round 10 of the NBL1 West competition.
The job to start off with is a significant one for the Redbacks Women on Friday night as they play host to the defending West Coast Classic Champions, the Lady Wolfpack.
On the back of winning that title last year, the Wolves have started the 2021 NBL1 West season impressively winning six of their seven matches to currently sit on top of the standings.
The Redbacks come into the game on the back of losses to the Cockburn Cougars and Warwick Senators the past two weeks, but in fairness, those are also two of the form teams of the competition.
Friday night is going to be another big challenge up against former Redbacks coach Charles Nix and former Perth star Kayla Steindl.
The battle between the bigs with Maddie Allen up against Steindl and Jess Jakens opposed to Amber Land is going to have a big say in the final result.
That leads into the Men’s contest in what will be a rematch of the 2017 Grand Final.
That proved to be quite the historic night for the Redbacks as they celebrated the championship but in fairness, there is now only a handful of players who were there that night that played in that Grand Final. Both teams are also now under new coaches.
That doesn’t mean the game doesn’t shape up as being a fascinating one, though.
The Redbacks are now in their best patch of form of the season with coach CJ Jackson having his group up and firing.
Louis Timms continues to deliver inside and out as the big while Tevin Jackson is doing a bit of everything and doing it well. Zac Gattorna is in good touch, Joel Wagner is running the team well, and plenty of others are making strong contributions.
That has led to the Redbacks winning their past two matches against the Cougars and Senators, with the win last Saturday night at home against Warwick especially impressive up against the men’s team that won the West Coast Classic championship, and has started 2021 so strongly too.
While the Redbacks are in tremendous form coming into Friday’s game with the Wolves, Joondalup as always appear to be one of the teams to beat again in 2021.
This is a Wolfpack team who played in five consecutive Grand Finals between 2015 and 2019, and again reached the semi finals of the West Coast Classic last year.
The Wolves currently hold a 6-3 record this season and are fresh off wins against the Goldfields Giants and Kalamunda Eastern Suns, and they will be coming to Belmont Oasis on Friday night looking to leave with nothing but another win setting up a tremendous match up.
Once that is done on Friday, the Redbacks will turn their attention to the trip south to take on the Slammers.
The Redbacks Women can’t afford to take the Slammers lightly even if they are struggling this season and still haven’t won a game since Makailah Dyer was with them back in 2019.
The Slammers might have lost all nine of their games so far in 2021 by an average of 54.9 points, but still the Redbacks can’t afford to just turn up and assume they will hand them a 10th loss of 2021.
That will lead into the Men’s game and it is a similar story for the Redbacks. They need to go into it knowing they need to play well to win because Slammers coach Mark Worthington has already shown a couple of times this season he can orchestrate upset wins with his emerging young group.