The 2015 National Wheelchair Basketball League season is underway, with five teams meeting in Round 1.
Kilsyth Cobras started the round strong on Friday night defeating Wollongong Rollerhawks 80-59 in the rematch of the 2014 Bronze medal game. It was marked a grudge match as main scorers Shawn Russell & Tristan Knowles, who both used to play for Wollongong, used their experience and chemistry from years of playing together while fitting in seamlessly with the Kilsyth combinations.
The Cobras defeated the Sydney Metro Blues 85-35 on Saturday, before going down to Red Dust Heelers 60-66 on Sunday in the closest game of the round.
Kilsyth will be a difficult team to beat this season with a solid starting five and depth on their bench with their developing players.
Red Dust Heelers
Red Dust Heelers had solid wins over Sydney Metro Blues and RSL Qld Spinning Bullets on Friday and Saturday. They had a tough game on Sunday morning against Wollongong, going down 74-56 but then backed up to take down Kilsyth on Sunday afternoon. The Cobras led for the majority of the game however Red Dust finished strong with solid shooting by Australian Rollers Captain, Brad Ness (32 points and 64% shooting from the field).
Red Dust recruited one of the biggest men in the league in the off-season with Adam Deans joining their ranks. Having worked on his one-handed attempt, Deans now has a shot that is out of the reach of almost anyone in the league. Watch out for Red Dust to be a serious finals contender in 2014.
Sydney Metro Blues
Sydney Metro Blues had a tough start to the season with three losses. CJ Grogan continues to top score for the team with the assistance of Kylie Gauci and new recruit Georgia Munro-Cook and with talent and determination, the team of young athletes will continue to develop under the leadership of Gliders Assistant Coach, Troy Sachs.
Backing up from their loss to Kilsyth on Friday, Wollongong defeated 2014’s Runners-Up RSL Qld Spinning Bullets on Saturday afternoon and then also Red Dust on Sunday morning.
Wollongong are as solid as ever with their main line-up having so many shooting options. Brett Stibners has barely missed a beat since retiring from international competition and continues to lead the team. Michael Auprince has bulked up in the off-season and dominates inside the key as the biggest man in the league. Nick Taylor & Luke Pople continue to be outside shooting threats for the team making it almost impossible to defend.
RSL Qld Spinning Bullets
The Bullets felt the loss of some key players missing from last year with Bill Latham and Tom O’Neill-Thorne, their two resident Rollers, not featuring on the team list for 2015. Just returning from Dubai with the Emerging Rollers team, Jake Fulwood was also a noticeable omission for Round 1 after his outstanding final series in 2014.
The Spinning Bullets finished with one win under the belt for the season and now turn their attention to next round against the debuting Australian Gliders.
For all NWBL results and stats, click here: http://www.sportingpulse.com/comp_info.cgi?c=1-4219-0-369135-0&pool=1&round=0&a=ROUND