Men’s QBL Grand Finals Series – The Crater at Candle Stick Park, Mackay.
Mackay Meteors vs Brisbane Capitals
Friday 28 August – 7:30pm
Saturday 29 August – 7:30pm
Sunday 30 August – 2:00pm (if required)
In a QBL Finals Series which has arguably been the most exhilarating for some time, the two top sides on the ladder have eventually earned spots in the Grand Finals.
For the second week in a row Brisbane were down late and seemed completely out of it towards the end of their semi-final against Gladstone; however like they did against the Force a week earlier, a late rally erupted the vocal home crowd which proved the difference. With just over 5 minutes left in the game and trailing by 11 points, enter Aaron Anderson, who after knocking down three 3-pointers in a row gave the Capitals the life they needed to hold on and force an overtime and securing a nail-biting one-point victory. For the second week in a row however, the Capitals got jumped in the third quarter, relinquishing a slight half time lead after scoring just 8 points in the term – something they’ll need to watch this weekend.
The ride for Mackay into the Grand Final series has been a little different to say the least. After finishing top of the ladder they earnt a free ride into a home semi-final and used that to their advantage, waiting for them. Being weary of the damage certain players could unleash, their trademark defense was on show for most of the game, forcing Maxey and Kendle to have inefficient nights which proved the difference. A 104-92 victory was also due to the well-rounded offensive output which proved extremely efficient. The Starting 5 consisting of Cedar, Rasmussen, Demos, Hobbs and Diop scored 78 points with all players looking dangerous throughout the game. Throwing in versatile swingman Adekponya off the bench gives them even more firepower.
After the Capitals defeated the Meteors in Mackay only a few weeks ago they will be extremely confident; the core group of Phillips, Anderson, Rychart, Jeffries, Thompson and Carter all playing well as they have all year proved too much for the home side. Unfortunately for the Caps, they cannot take their awesome home ground advantage they had with them last week to help carry them through. It will be imperative for their chances that they don’t come out flat yet again and rely on superstar players making huge plays to get them over the line.
The Meteors’ defense has been suffocating all season and if they manage to hold a 10 point lead going into the fourth, it is hard to see them stumbling late. We know both teams will be ready to grind-out hard fought wins and will be full of confidence after consecutive wins being down late, fans will be in for an absolute treat as the heavyweights battle it out for the QBL Championship crown!