SBL: Willetton Tigers men and women through to grand finals

SBL: Willetton Tigers men and women through to grand finals

THE Willetton Tigers women beat the Flames in Rockingham for a second time to win through to a second straight SBL decider at the weekend.

It was a stunning turn around for the women, after a game two loss to the Flames 76-62 at its Willetton home, before turning it around the following day.

Willetton played an outstanding game one in Rockingham to win 82-59 but the Flames bounced back last Friday night at Willetton Basketball Stadium to win by 14 to force the decider back on their home floor.

The Flames did lose Ifunanya Ibekwe from Friday night and in the end neither team could really get any flow going under the pressure with a grand final berth at stake considering both had championship aspirations in 2016.

In the men’s the Tigers showed no fear and continued to take it right to the defending champions Wolves and had built plenty of momentum going into three quarter-time having drawn scores level.

However, the Wolves found something in the fourth quarter and with a devastated Jay Bowie fouling out with two minutes remaining, the Wolfpack managed to run over the top of a brave Willetton with 30 points to 15 in the fourth period to win by that margin and make a second straight grand final.

Joondalup ended up shooting 35-of-78 at 44 per cent from the field and 15-of-32 at 46 per cent from three while Willetton went 32-of-83 from the floor and 13-of-36 at 36 per cent from downtown.

The Wolves again won the rebound count 47 to 38 but the Tigers did well forcing them to 22 turnovers. But they scored just 19 points off those while the Wolves hit 27 points from Willetton’s 19 turnovers.

Iliadis was unstoppable with the game on the line for the Wolfpack reminiscent of last year’s grand final performance finishing with 29 points while hitting 6-of-10 from deep.

Captain Salinas was also outstanding with 25 points and seven boards nailing 5-of-9 from long range.

Before fouling out, Bowie was tremendous for the Tigers with 28 points and four rebounds shooting 10-of-17 from the field and 3-of-7 from three-point range.

Captain Kyle Armour desperately wanted another crack at a grand final and had 19 points, five rebounds and four assists for the Tigers while Damien Scott finished with 16 points, seven boards and six assists.