SWINBURNE LADY COBRAS vs LAUNCESTON TORNADOES – SATURDAY 6.15PM

Coming off a bye week, the Lady Cobras will unveil new recruit Louella Tomlinson, who joins the team following a championship-winning season with Hungarian team Pinkk-Pesci. Tomlinson, an elite shot blocker and paint defender, will square-off against the reigning SEABL Player of the Week Nadeen Payne, who comes off a 33point/17rebound performance against Ballarat. Prior to their bye, the Lady Cobras split a two-game weekend, falling on the road to Geelong before returning home to dispose of the Albury-Wodonga Bandits. As usual, Yvonne Anderson, Rosie Moult, and Sarah Parsons carried the Cobras, but they received help from the ever-improving Olivia Bontempelli, who has emerged lately as one of the best bench scorers in the league.

While the addition of Tomlinson will make Sam Woosnam’s team very difficult to guard, the impact it will have on the defensive end may be even more significant. With top-10 steals leaders Parsons, Moult, and Anderson roaming the passing lanes and Tomlinson’s shot-blocking ability down low, the Tornadoes will have a difficult time scoring against the Lady Cobras versatile defence. If the Cobras can slow Payne and win the battle inside, they could reclaim the South Conference’s best record by weekend’s end, and give Coach of the Month Sam Woosnam her eighth win in ten games.

SWINBURNE COBRAS vs NW TASMANIA THUNDER – SATURDAY 8.15PM

The Swinburne Cobra men, also coming off a bye week, split their back-to-back weekend, falling to Geelong on the road, followed by the demolition of Albury-Wodonga at home in Gerard Leonard’s 200th game with the Cobras. Kyle Adnam had a breakout game, recording a career high 27 points, while fellow rookie Jackson Brazier recorded his first SEABL double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Though Auryn Macmillan has departed for the United States for two months, Arjen Smit is still sidelined with a foot injury, and Dain Swetalla will miss the remainder of the season, the Cobras have made some frontcourt additions to help star big man Tim Lang. 6’8 centre Michael Knoll has returned from the US after completing his sophomore season at St Ambrose University, while Kieran Murphy will join the team while continuing to play for the AGL Cobras in the VYC.

The biggest addition for the Cobras this week, though, is the electrifying Joel Naburgs, who returns from a four-game absence following hand surgery. Naburgs’ return could not have come at a better time, as he will be needed to match Thunder import Robert Jenkins, who is off to a sizzling start to the 2014 season. Jenkins is all over the SEABL leaderboards, ranking in the top-5 in scoring (24.8ppg), 3-pointers made (3.0), 3-point percentage (49.1%), and steals (2.6spg), while adding 4.6 assists per game and shooting the ball at an incredible 55% from the field. Jenkins has also been well supported by Tyrone Lee, who boasts averages of 19.1ppg and 10.0rpg. The inside-out battle between NW Tasmania’s Jenkins and Lee and Kilsyth’s Naburgs and Tim Lang will be fun to watch, but the key to this game may be the Cobras Cameron Johnson, who will draw the task of guarding Jenkins. If Johnson can slow Jenkins and Naburgs can quickly regain his early season form (20.8ppg/6.0rpg/5.0apg), the Cobras have a chance of getting even with the Thunder, who took down the undermanned Cobras in Tasmania, 90-72, on April 26.

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