Grand Final - Men
Brisbane Capitals (1) v Gold Coast Rollers (2)
Last time they met: Round 2 – Brisbane 110 (Anderson 26) def Gold Coast 87 (Parker 27)
Brisbane cemented a berth in the QBL Grand Final Series after a 105-90 victory over the 5th seeded Rockhampton Rockets. The home side jumped out of the blocks scoring a whopping 37 points in the opening period leading to an early 12-point lead. The Rockets fought back strongly winning the second period and bridging the gap back to 7 by the major break. The Capitals opened the second half with a quick 9-0 run inside the opening minutes quickly swaying the contest back into their favour. Brisbane kept their foot on the gas in the final quarter keeping the lead in double digits at all stages before eventually running out 15 points the better.
The Capitals were on fire from deep connecting on 17 three-pointers and going at 47% for the match. Jason Cadee continued his incredible season with 36 points, 8 assists and 4 steals whilst connecting on 8 from behind the arc. Magnay put in 20 to go along with 9 boards and was closely followed by Anderson’s 19. Wilson had 12 and went 4-6 from deep in only 22 minutes of playing time. But it was Brisbane’s defence pressure which made life difficult for the Rockets who were +21 in turnovers for the match. Anderson, Cadee and Magnay led the way on the defensive end combining for 10 steals, whilst Magany also had 3 blocks.
The Rollers were eventually able to run away comfortable 19-points the better of Townsville as they booked a Grand Final date with the Capitals. Despite falling behind by 9 at the first break, the Rollers quickly turned the game around with a 24-9 second term taking a lead into half time. After a tied third term Gold Coast were able to bury the visitors in the final period 26-13 on their way to the easy victory. The Heat were limited to only 31% from the field and finished the game with only 58 points which was well short of their previous season low.
Gold Coast also struggled on the offensive end only shotting 37% for the game with many of their starter’s numbers down on their season averages. Rhys Martin was the games highest scorer finishing with 18 points to go along with 5 boards and 5 assists, whilst LJ rose had 14 points and 6 dimes. Spencer Parker was kept to a season low 9 points. Parker went 0-4 from behind the arc and is now only 1-16 from deep in his past 6 matches.
These sides have not meant since all the way back in round 2 where the Capitals made light work of the visiting Rollers. In this match Brisbane connected on an incredible 74% of all shots inside the arc and finished at 54% from the field for the game. Considering this outing was all the way back in May, fans should not use this as a guide to how this series should play out due to the changes in both teams over this time.
Despite boasting an impressive 17-3 record to this point in the season, the Rollers will enter this series clear underdogs which speaks more the dominance of the Capitals season rather than the deficiencies in Gold Coast’s game. Brisbane have the best two-man combination in the league in Cadee and Magnay and with the experience of Aaron Anderson, the Rollers will have their work cut out in limiting all three throughout a 3-game series. Considering Brisbane have only lost the one game for the entirety of the season it’s hard to see them lose two in the one weekend. The Capitals to sweep the series.
Prediction: Brisbane 2-0
Grand Final - Women
Carina Leagues Club Lady Spartans (1) v Gold Coast Rollers (4)
Last time they met: Round 1 – Spartans 69 (Parham-Ammar 19) def Gold Coast 61 (Luna-Castro 18)
The QBL best of three Grand Final Series sees the top seed and two-time defending champions Spartans taking on the red-hot underdogs Gold Coast Rollers at Rowland Cowan Stadium this weekend. The Spartans finished the regular season with just one loss on the year, while the Rollers finished in the top-four on the back of a 13-5 record.
The Spartans made their way to their third successive Grand Final Series after wins over Rip and Ipswich in the playoffs. Odette Isaac was huge against the Force, registering 30 points at 71% from the field with 9 assists on the night. Charmian Mellars, Leah Scott and Aja Parham-Ammar all had impressive nights scoring double-figures as the Spartans held off a late-game surge from Ipswich.
The Spartans have set the benchmark all season long on the back of big-time players Leah Scott who averaged 23 points per game and Aja Parham-Ammar who averaged close to 5 assists per game throughout the year, whilst Odette Isaac’s late season form has been tremendous. Bec Lewis has once again led her side to almost complete dominance in the league with a perfect season just falling short in Mackay in Round 13.
Gold Coast have stunned the QBL surging into their very first Grand Final Series on the back of a thrilling overtime victory in Townsville a fortnight ago. The Rollers failed to win a game in 2017 and only managed three wins last year, however, the Gold Coast have created the biggest story of the year on the back of strong recruiting and first year coach Cassie Dover’s influential and daring leadership.
The Rollers weren’t overawed heading up to Townsville for the semi-finals bursting out of the gates with a 21-17 first quarter lead before hanging on in overtime to record their greatest every victory. The win was even more impressive considering they held Abby Bishop scoreless for the entire game thanks to some brilliant defence from Jacquie Luna-Castro who also had 17 points and 8 rebounds, whilst Ariana Moorer led the scoring with 21 points, 12 rebounds and 7 assists. The Rollers had just one rotation on the bench in Townsville making the win even more remarkable.
The only meeting between these two teams in 2019 was way back in Round 1 on the first Sunday of the season. The Spartans got the chocolates in that one, but few would have expected these two teams to meet again on the last weekend in August. The Spartans have excelled across the board with teamwork and leadership being the key factors in another outstanding season, whilst the belief and confidence that the Rollers have shown has catapulted them within two wins of a QBL fairy-tale.
The key players for both teams will be their bigs with a physical contest expected from the first tip-off on Friday. The Spartans have more depth than the Rollers and this may be a huge factor in determining the champion. It’s an incredible story with the Spartans going for the three-peat, while Gold Coast look for their first ever QBL trophy. Goliath may have more in the tank than David but expect the unexpected in what should be a classic Grand Final Series to wrap up an unforgettable 2019 QBL season.
Prediction: Spartans 2-0