THE Perth Redbacks have proven invincible at Belmont Oasis so far in the West Coast Classic and they look to continue that against the Kalamunda Eastern Suns on Friday night.
Both the Redbacks men and women are yet to taste defeat at Belmont Oasis Leisure Centre during the West Coast Classic ahead of Friday night’s contests against the Eastern Suns.
Those games on Friday in Round 6 of the West Coast Classic will be the last time that the Redbacks play at home for the regular season and they are two pivotal match ups if the Spiders hope to remain in the finals hunt.
Coming into Round 6, the Redbacks women sit in seventh position with a 5-3 record while the men are 6-3 in fifth position. Both still have the ability to play finals should they keep winning and that needs to happen on Friday night against the Eastern Suns.
The women’s game begins at 6.30pm and the men’s will follow at 8.30pm.
The Friday night clash with the Eastern Suns at Belmont Oasis will be the only Redbacks game this weekend and it could very well be season-defining in this West Coast Classic.
Starting with the women, it’s a big job ahead of the Redbacks against an impressive Suns group who come into the round in fourth position with a 4-1 record.
Kalamunda has won four of its five games so far this season and have looked strong led by Perth Lynx WNBL forward Jessie Edwards while the prolific shooting and scoring Jewel Williams is tough to keep in check as well.
That sets up a fascinating match up between Edwards and her Perth Lynx teammate Maddie Allen who is fresh off a monster double-header weekend that saw her named the SBL Shootaround Player of the Week.
Jess Jakens will also need to do a strong job in her time up against Edwards while Bri Bailey up against Williams in the back court could be pivotal in the final result as well.
The Redbacks women had a strong Round 5 where they beat the South West Slammers by 77 points and they were 12 points to the good of the Senators with three minutes to go.
However, they lost that game and from now it likely means Perth can’t lose another game in the West Coast Classic if it hopes to play finals which means that this Friday’s game with Kalamunda is one you don’t want to miss.
Then in the men’s contest, it’s equally as crucial for the Redbacks to get the win against the Eastern Suns.
So far this season at Belmont Oasis the Redbacks have been untouchable beating the Cockburn Cougars, East Perth Eagles, Geraldton Buccaneers, Willetton Tigers and South West Slammers.
Now they need one more impressive performance on their home floor to take some confidence into the final three weeks of the season where they will likely need to beat the Flames, Giants and Flames on the road to end up taking part in the West Coast Classic finals.
Kalamunda might be out of the finals hunt having won just the two games in seven attempts so far, but the Eastern Suns are well coached by Mark Utley and Ben Ettridge, and have some exciting young talent.
Carl Aylett has been putting up impressive numbers as a young scoring guard, they are led by championship winning point guard Brendan Dinardo and then there is Cooper Lowe and Ryan Blanchett who battle hard down low.
So while the record suggests that the Redbacks might come into the game against the Suns as favourites, it certainly isn’t a given and they will need to play at their best to come away with the points and keep their finals hopes alive in the West Coast Classic for 2020.