SBL: Perth Redbacks lose in men’s and women’s quarter finals clashes

THE Perth Redbacks men’s and women’s teams endured a tough weekend following losses in Game 1 of its quarter-final clashes.

The Rockingham Flames defeated the women’s team 90-66 at Mike Barnett Sports Complex last Friday night while Joondalup City Wolves defeated the men’s side 110-95 at the Joondalup Basketball Stadium on Saturday.

Rockingham has won the last two Women’s SBL titles and finished the 2016 regular season in second place, and made a statement early against Perth with 25 points to 13 in the first quarter, and another 28 to 19 in the second.

That meant the game was all but over at half time but the Flames continued in the third period with another 27 points to 13 to lead by 35 before the Redbacks showed some fight in the fourth to cut the final margin to 24.

Rockingham shot 41 per cent from the field and 36 per cent from outside, with the Redbacks hitting 34 per cent from the floor and 16 per cent from downtown, but the Flames pulled in 63 rebounds to 31 to control the possession count.

Jess Jakens played her best game for the Redbacks since returning from an ankle injury finishing with 14 points, six rebounds and two assists with Gabby O’Sullivan adding 14 points.

Rebecca Benson added nine points, three rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocked shots for Perth, Ajay Jones eight points and four assists, and Lisa Wallbutton seven points and 10 boards.

In the men’s game, the Redbacks regained star big man Michael Vigor from a foot injury and that gave them a boost of confidence up against the defending champions.

The Redbacks took it up right up to the Wolves on their home floor but Joondalup managed to hold the slight edge in the first half leading by six at the end of the opening period, and by 13 at half time.

But Perth had some confidence still and delivered a tremendous third quarter with 32 points to 22 to close to within three heading into the fourth period.

However, with the game on the line the Wolfpack were able to go up another level and pull away for the hard fought 15-point victory.