Stakes rise as playoffs near for Redbacks

Both Perth Redbacks teams have a chance to finish in the top four going into the finals of the NBL1 West competition, but they do need to keep winning with just two rounds remaining.

The penultimate round of the 2021 NBL1 West season sees the Perth Redbacks men’s and women’s teams take on the Mandurah Magic in two tantalising matchups at Belmont Oasis on Friday night.

Both matchups should be fascinating affairs with the women’s match beginning the evening at 6.30pm with the men’s game to follow at 8.30pm.

Then on Saturday night, it’s just the men in action against the Lakeside Lightning at Lakeside Recreation Centre from 7pm.

Starting with the women’s clash between the Redbacks and Magic at Belmont Oasis on Friday night, it’s a crucial game for both teams.

The Redbacks enter Round 17 of the NBL1 West Women’s Division on a 10-6 record and if they win their past two games of the regular season they can still finish inside the top four.

The Redbacks women are already guaranteed of a playoff position having now won their past three matches, and six of the last seven overall.

Perth’s women beat the Kalamunda Eastern Suns twice last weekend and now will welcome back captain Jess Jakens for Friday’s clash with the Magic after she missed last Saturday night’s win on the road to the Suns.

The Magic come into Friday’s clash with the Redbacks fresh off a big loss on Tuesday night to the Perry Lakes Hawks that put a significant dent in their push to make the playoffs.

With Carly Boag and Casey Mihovilovich leading the way, the Magic come into Round 17 in some hot form winning four of their past five matches. That’s put them back in the playoff hunt after losing seven of their opening nine matches this NBL1 West season.

However, after losing to the Lady Hawks on Tuesday night, the Magic are now in a must-win situation on Friday if they want to reach the playoffs. The Redbacks must win as well if they want to stay in the top four hunt. This sets up a tantalising match up.

It’s then a big weekend for the Redbacks men as well as they too attempt to book in a top-four finish entering the NBL1 West playoffs.

They also scored two wins over the Eastern Suns last weekend while also missing captain Joel Wagner for the Saturday night road trip, but they now come into a game on Friday night with the Magic with plenty at stake.

The Redbacks men currently hold a 12-6 record on the season having won 10 of their last 12 games but the Magic will arrive at Belmont Oasis high on motivation as well.

Mandurah has become the talk of the league this season with the addition of Cairns Taipans NBL superstar point guard Scott Machado to a roster that already included the son of a legend Jerami Grace, dual SBL champion Brian Carlwell, import Fred Williams and plenty of talent under the coaching of 422-game NBL veteran Aaron Trahair.

Mandurah entered Round 17 of the NBL1 West Men’s Division season on a 12-6 record, the same as the Redbacks, but they suffered a disappointing loss to the Perry Lakes Hawks at Bendat Basketball Centre on Tuesday and will now be desperate to bounce back at Belmont Oasis on Friday.

Like the women’s clash, both the Redbacks and Magic men have so much at stake setting the stage for what should be a thrilling Friday night of action.

The Redbacks men then back it up on Saturday evening with perhaps an even bigger challenge by taking on the Lightning on the road at Lakeside Recreation Centre.

Lakeside enters Round 17 with a 15-4 record on the season to still be eyeing off top spot, or at least securing a top-two position meaning they present quite the significant challenge for the Redbacks.

Despite being without key players Kyle Armour, Jay Bowie, Jarrad Prue and Corey Shervill last weekend they still scored an important Saturday night win over the Cockburn Cougars just 24 hours after going down to the Magic.

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