THE Perth Redbacks’ Men’s SBL team booked a place in the semi-finals after a tough series against the South West Slammers.
After losing game 1 at home during the previous weekend, the Redbacks travelled to the Eaton Recreation Centre on Saturday and came away with a 107-99 win to keep the series alive.
The Slammers and Redbacks had played two high-calibre, physical and intense games already coming into the decider on Sunday and that certainly didn’t fail to deliver either.
Along the way technicals were called on both teams. Clive Weeden and Shawn Redhage were called respectively for unsportsmanlike fouls on one another, there was blood spilt and neither team backed down an inch until the final buzzer.
In the end, with the experience of Shawn Redhage and the emergence of Marshall Nelson, the Redbacks just got the job done to come away with the win, 87-81.
The Slammers shot out of the blocks in ominous fashion, racing to a 9-2 and 15-4 lead, with the game played at their tempo. By the time Teny Puot hit consecutive threes, the Slammers led 18-7 and the momentum was theirs.
The Redbacks had done well to slow them in the second half of the quarter and trail by just five points by quarter-time and then take the lead themselves early in the second when Zac Gattorna drained a three. Big men Weeden and Chris Douglas combined early in the third quarter to put the Slammers back in front and they were back up by six with some Tre Nichols free throws, but Nichols picking up a fourth foul did slow the visitors somewhat.
The game was always destined to go down to the wire but Redhage showed why he was such a big-game player at the Perth Wildcats with his 13 fourth-quarter points.
In the Women’s SBL, the Redbacks’ season is over after they fell 54-79 to the Mandurah Magic on Saturday at Belmont Oasis.
The Magic just had too much firepower and an ability to perform well over the full four quarters, with Carly Boag a powerful presence inside.