East Conference leaders Swinburne Kilsyth Cobras(7-3) will host the inform Sandringham (7-2) at the Snake Pit this Saturday. The Swinburne Cobras will be determined to celebrate veteran Damien Taylor’s 400th SEABL game in style, while the Sabres will look to make it 5 wins in a row after defeating defending champions Knox last week.
Sandringham’s away form this year has been nothing short of outstanding, having recorded 5 of their 7 wins on the road. Their all Australian line up has been lead by centre Simon Conn who has averaged a staggering 9 rebounds and 17.7 points per game this year. When you add the experience of Melbourne Tigers point guard Nathan Croswell and the scoring power of former South Dragon Daniel Dillon (17ppg), the Sabres appear a formidable opposition for any side in the league. Despite an injury concern to current Boomers squad member Damien Ryan, the Sabres appear to have reasonable depth in their squad with Craig White and David More putting in strong performances against Knox last week.
While Kilsyth have done little to dispel their reputation as poor home court performers, having won just 2 from 4 at the Snake Pit this year, the Cobras will be keen to make it two in a row after an impressive win over Albury/Wodonga last weekend. US import Fernandez Lockett has been the Cobras most consistent player this year averaging 18 point per game, while fellow import, Quincy Henderson has lived up to his reputation as one of the best defenders in the league this season and will most likely line up on the Sabre’s play maker Dillon.
The real challenge for the Cobras on Saturday night will be finding a way to score against the strong Sandringham defence. Having lost experienced point guard Matthew Shanahan before the season, the Cobra’s have been pinch hitting with Melbourne Tigers player Matt O’Hea. With far more depth on their bench the Sabres will be able to use their fresh legs to put pressure on the makeshift point guard. Despite a strong performance against Albury Wodonga last week, where he returned 22 points from his 33 minutes, O’Hea will have to improve on his season average of 13.9ppg if the Cobras are to have any chance on the weekend.
The men will tip off at 8.15pm
The Swinburne Lady Cobras(5-1) will also take on the Sandringham, who has slipped out of the top six after two consecutive losses, and are in danger of dropping further should they lose another game this weekend. This game will showcase some the best talent in Women’s basketball with Sabres Cayla Francis (16ppg, 10rpg) duelling in the paint against Swinburne Lady Cobras Alice Kunek (15ppg, 9rpg), and Sabres Renae Camino (20ppg, 6rpg, 3apg) taking on Swinburne Lady Cobras Deanna Smith (20ppg, 6rpg, 5apg) in the backcourt.
Deanna Smith will be eager to return to the line up after a week away at Opals Camp in Canberra. Smith joined fellow Australian squad members as the Opals began their quest for another World Championships gold medal.
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