SBL Men’s Grand Final Preview

Southern Districts Spartans vs Seahawks GC
3:30pm, Saturday 29 August
Rowland Cowan Stadium, Clem Jones Centre, Carina

The highly anticipated men’s SBL grand final has arrived, and there’s little doubt the build-up will have left both teams eager to hit the court and eager to get the battle for the championship title underway. The Spartans again asserted their intent to claim back-to-back titles with a comprehensive 80-59 victory over the Capitals in last weekend’s semi-final, with Darryl McDowell-White hitting below his season average of 24.0 points per game with 21 points, but still top-scoring for the Spartans and proving to be a critical component of the line-up. With Kyaz Karaitiana and Daniel Quigley also hitting double-figures and with solid support from the rest of the Southern Districts group, the home side ensured they made short work of the Capitals, taking a 44-25 lead at halftime to put them on the path to the eventual victory. In contrast, the Seahawks’ 91-74 semi-final win over Sunshine Coast Rip showed the Gold Coast team’s ability to fight back hard in order to pull off a win. The Seahawks managed to recover from a 43-37 halftime deficit to come out firing in the third quarter, constricting the Rip to 12 points for the term to their 26, and continued the momentum in the final quarter to outscore Sunshine Coast 28-19 to run away with the eventual 17-point win. The Seahawks group combined to get the job done, with six players shooting into double figures it exemplified the team’s depth and versatility.

It wasn’t so long ago that these teams last faced off, with the Spartans sealing a narrow three-point win in the Round 14 meeting. The Seahawks started off well and held a 16-12 advantage at the first break, but the Spartans soon hit back and piled on 20 points in the second term, holding GC to just 10 to take a 32-26 lead at halftime. The Seahawks pushed hard throughout the back end of the match, but the Spartans were just as determined, and despite the game consistently looking as though it could have gone either way, Southern Districts eventually came up with the goods 79-76.

Saturday’s match is set to be just as close, with both teams fired up for the final and both holding talented names in their rosters. Southern Districts will be relying on the likes of McDowell-White, Karaitiana, Quigley, Ugrinic and Volkman to lead the team as they have done all season, while the Seahawks can look to the talents of Hart, Collins, Smith, Lomax, Lomakin and Goldfinch to get points on the board. Given their previous encounter, this match could go either way, and while playing Southern Districts at home can be an intimidating feat, but there’s little doubt the Seahawks fans will be there in droves to support their team in what’s set to be an epic showdown.

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