Round 5 West Coast Classic Preview

It’s another double-header in the West Coast Classic for the Perth Redbacks in Round 5 and it all gets underway in what should be a terrific Saturday evening against the South West Slammers.

Both the Redbacks women’s and men’s teams remain undefeated at Belmont Oasis Leisure Centre so far in the West Coast Classic and they put those records on the line on Saturday night against the South West Slammers.

The women’s match tips off at 5pm followed by the men’s battle from 7pm.

The Redbacks then back up on Sunday afternoon at Warwick Stadium against two strong Warwick Senators teams. The women’s game begins at 12pm and the men’s at 2pm.

Saturday night sees the Redbacks return to Belmont Oasis and starting with the women’s game against the Slammers, they welcome back former player Bianca Donovan who will be part of the South West line-up.

The Redbacks women have won all three games at home so far in the West Coast Classic defeating the Cockburn Cougars by 16 points, the East Perth Eagles by 33 and the Willetton Tigers by 11 last Friday night.

That has the Redbacks holding a 4-2 record overall so far in the West Coast Classic to be knocking on the door of breaking into the top four as we move past the halfway mark of the regular season.

Their Saturday night opponents are yet to taste victory so far in the West Coast Classic having so far lost at home to Mandurah, Rockingham and Perry Lakes while going down on the road to Warwick and East Perth.

The Slammers will already have hosted the Lakeside Lightning on Friday night to open Round 5 as well.

With Maddie Allen and Jess Jakens leading the way in the front court, Bri Bailey doing a tremendous job running the point and then Brooke Malone, Chanah Crugnale, Sarah Allen and Shenae Hartree among the others contributing strongly and the Redbacks will like their chances against the Slammers.

The Redbacks then back up their game against the Slammers on Saturday by taking on the Senators on Sunday at Warwick Stadium.

This will be a significant test away from home for the Redbacks with the Senators coming off playing in last year’s SBL Grand Final and having started the West Coast Classic winning four of their opening five matches.

The Senators are led by reigning SBL MVP Stacey Barr along with Nicole Jorre De St Jorre and Tayah Burrows, and will have already played the Cockburn Cougars on the road on Friday night to open Round 5.

Two wins for the Redbacks women and it’s a significant step towards reaching the top four in the West Coast Classic.

It’s also going to be a fascinating weekend for the men’s Redbacks starting Saturday night against the Slammers.

The coaching contest on its own is one for the ages as CJ Jackson leads the Redbacks up against new Slammers head coach and NBL great and Australian basketball legend Mark Worthington. He just happens to have James Fitch and Aaron Edwards as part of his coaching staff too.

But on the court, the Redbacks come into the game on a three-game winning streak with all those wins coming at home at Belmont Oasis against the East Perth Eagles, Willetton Tigers and Geraldton Buccaneers.

That sees the Redbacks sit just outside the top four with a 5-2 record as they prepare to host the Slammers who won their opening game of the West Coast Classic at home to Mandurah before losing to the Flames, Senators, Eagles and Hawks.

If the Redbacks do want to play finals in the West Coast Classic, this is the type of game they can’t afford to drop and with the experience of Joel Wagner running the point and Dennis Tawhiti up front with the brilliance in between of Marshall Nelson, Caleb White and Tevin Jackson, and they should have too much firepower.

The Redbacks then back up against a deep, talented and experienced Senators team at Warwick Stadium on Sunday.

The Senators will have already played the Cockburn Cougars on Friday to open the round, but come into the weekend with a 4-1 record and a four-game winning streak.

They have an exciting team too with veterans Cody Ellis, Caleb Davis and Ash Litterick leading the way along with import Justin King and Perth Wildcats star Wani Swaka Lo Buluk.

Hosting the Slammers on Saturday night and then playing away to the Senators on Sunday provides an exciting weekend for the Redbacks, and a real chance to move a step closer to playing finals in both the women’s and men’s West Coast Classic.

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