THE Perth Redbacks will venture south tomorrow night for Round 17 of SBL action against Southwest Slammers.
The games will be crucial with playoff repercussions for the men’s and women’s sides.
The women’s team is currently in seventh position with eight wins and 10 losses, making victory tomorrow all the more important.
Shooting guard AJ Jones will look to continue the scintillating form from round 16 that saw her finish with a team high 27 points.
Seasoned veterans Rebecca Benson and Ash Gilmore will also be called on to stand tall against a Slammers team that has shown vast improvement since their round two encounter earlier in the season that saw Perth run out 102-65 winners.
For the men, who are also seventh after 12 wins and nine losses, the game is crucial in their bid to make a late charge up the ladder, aiming to clinch a top four spot and the chance of a home finals series.
The men will again be led by star import Jourdan Demuynck, who has had a sensational 2016 campaign, pulling in averages of 26.5 points per game, 10 rebounds and 4.6 assists.
Lewis Thomas will look to find the form that saw him awarded the Round 15 SBL Player of the Week (40 point, 16 rebound, four steal, three assist and three blocks performance).
And one of the league’s best sharp shooters Ben Smith (15ppg) will look to continue his consistent form.
There is also strong speculation that captain Joel Wagner will return to action following some time out due to an ankle injury.
The men then have less than a 12-hour turnaround to face the Goldfields Giants in a Sunday fixture at the Belmont Oasis with a 12pm tipoff.
It will be a daunting task having taken on the Southwest Slammers in Eaton the night beforehand, however Goldfields will be coming off a tough clash of their own, having met ladder leaders Cockburn on the Saturday night.