PERTH Redbacks have the opportunity to create history in the Men’s WA State Basketball League grand final, according to coach Nik Lackovic.
The Redbacks will take on the Joondalup Wolves in the championship decider at the Bendat Basketball Centre on Saturday night.
It will be the Men’s team’s first grand final since 1999 and if it wins it will be its first championship since 1997.
Lackovic, who played in the 1997 grand final but missed the 1999 season, said the team had a chance to create memories that would last for a lifetime.
“We’ve got a new team in a new era and we have the chance to create history and the players can look back at this 20 years down the track,” he said.
“We are really excited about what we have achieved so far and I’m grateful for the players’ commitment.”
Lackovic said the team was feeling great after beating the South West Slammers in the quarter-finals and the first-placed Willetton Tigers in the semi-finals.
“The Slammers series was physical, which prepared us to play Willetton Tigers, and I’m really proud how we prepared to play and our reward was to get through the Tigers,” he said.
“The key to our form is that our players trust each other and they believe in the structure.
“We have great leaders in Lee Roberts, who has won in every league that he has played in, and Shawn Redhage, who has the best resume in the SBL.
“We also have some young players who have a thirst to win, alongside players like Joel Wagner and Ben Smith.
“I’m super-proud of where the program sits now and the how the team has developed.”
Lackovic said they were a different side compared to the team that played the Wolves and lost twice in the regular season.
“We had no bigs in our first game and in the second game we were missing players,” he said.
“The regular season is irrelevant; we understand our strengths and we’ve got a lot of big time players who can perform on the big stage and a collective of young players who are hungry.”