The Geraldton Buccaneers continue their quest for the NBL1-West championship this Saturday night as they come up against the Perth Redbacks at Activewest Stadium.
The Buccs bounced back from their first loss of the season with a 25-point win over the Willetton Tigers last weekend to sit first on the ladder with a 11-1 record.
Their opponents, the Redbacks, are in ninth place having opened the season with six wins and six losses a piece.
Coach Dayle Joseph said his side would have to be wary of an underperforming Redbacks side.
“They play a pretty up-tempo game, they like to get the ball up the court nice and quick and get into their structures early. So yeah, that will keep us honest in our transition defence,” he said.
The game will be particularly special for Clayton Parfitt, making his 200th appearance for the Buccs this weekend.
“He’s one of those guys you need to have on your team, he’s got everybody’s back no matter what. So yeah, it’s well deserved for him to stick that out for a period of time, and be part of the Buccaneers team when he hasn’t really been playing a lot of minutes,” Joseph said.
The coach highlighted the camaraderie that’s developed within the team over the season.
“Between the whole group, they pretty much all have the same thing in common, they’re here for a team purpose, not necessarily an individual purpose, although, a couple of them would love the opportunity to play at a higher level,” he said.
“But I think most of the guys are focused on the team thing at this point and yeah, I think that all goes well for the group to put themselves in the best possible position they can come towards the end of the season.”
While it can be easy to get complacent at the top, Joseph said his side wouldn’t be taking anything for granted.
“They are a highly competitive group, I don’t think we look too much at the win-loss record, we look pretty much to what’s ahead of us as far as who we have next, how do we beat them, what’s their strengths, what’s their weaknesses, and we work on that from week to week,” he said.
“I don’t think we reflect back on or gloat on anything that we’ve achieved so far. Everyone’s of the same opinion that we’re all playing for the same reason. They want to have a crack at winning the championship and that’s the sort of direction we’re heading.”