Tigers focused on Heat

THE Kennedys Tours and Bomaderry RSL Shoalhaven State League Tigers return to the Tigers’ Den this Saturday night for round 16 of the Molten Waratah State League basketball competition.

The Tigers will be looking to concrete their top position in the south pool when they take on the second-placed Wagga Heat.

The Tigers have played the Heat twice this year and the series is tied up at one-all. 

In the first encounter, the Heat came out on top with a six-point victory.

The second time the Tigers travelled to Wagga it was somewhat different, with the Tigers avenging their first loss by a massive 16 points.

This game is bearing a whole lot of weight for both teams, as it could actually finalise their final standings, providing everything goes to plan for the final six games of the regular season.

Coach Balsar said that his team is ready for the Heat, and is hoping that the Tigers’ Den will be jam-packed on Saturday night for this encounter.

The home crowd needs to get right behind his team to get the Tigers home. 

“Having a vocal crowd at home is important, they can be worth 10 or more points so we are encouraging everyone to bring pots and pans, trumpets, drums or anything that can make a noise,” he said.

The Tigers are coming off two huge wins in the past weeks, defeating the Goulburn Bears by 71 points and the Bathurst Goldminers by 59 points.

This has its positives, but it can also work on the reverse side of things.

Not having hard games leading into the most important game of the regular season can often give a team a false sense of security.

Wagga are in the same boat, although they played Goulburn last week and Bathurst the week before, the Tigers will be focusing this week on defence and winning the possession game.

They will watch the game tape again of the last game against the Heat and pick out the little things they need to do better, rehashing the game plan when they beat them in Wagga. 

“We have been focusing on execution of our offensive sets in the past month or so, this week we reverse the focus on our defence but also show an emphasis towards the offensive structure as well,” Balsar said.

Saturday night sees the return of former Shoalhaven junior and eight-year veteran of the NBL, Jeff Dowdell. 

Jeff is excited and fired up to play the Heat and he is ready for what is tipped again to be a physical encounter. 

“Having Jeff back in the line up gives us great depth, his experience at playing at the top level will shine on Saturday night,” Balsar said.

“Last time he played for us we were a different team, his ability to play inside and outside gives the opposition a headache when it came to defence. He can shoot the three and post-up as well, the team is looking forward to having him back in the black and gold.”

Coach Balsar will be looking for his starters to shine as well. 

American Import Chris Moore has been in great form and will be looking to give it to the Heat on Saturday night.

Power forward Jeremy Goode was a big factor in the Tigers 16-point victory against the Heat last game and will be more than likely a focus point for the Heats coaching staff this weekend. 

“Jezza put in a stellar performance last time we played the Heat racking up 28 points, his energy on and off the floor is great as well, he loves being back playing for the Tigers and rest assured will be pumped for this game as well,” Balsar said.

The Tigers guard rotation has been in sensational form with skipper Tom Cook leading up-front each week, while veteran off-guard Paul Roddam continues to shine each game he plays. 

Backup point guard Tom Chiumento has just bounced forward of late and could well be an impact against the Heat’s guards this week. 

Balsar will be also looking for his blue collar workers to impress on Saturday – the big rig Brent Nemeth and veteran centre Brad Mulvihill alongside power forward Keiren Corbyn will be called upon to do some of the dirty work.

Tigers skipper Tom Cook and Jeremy Goode will share the task of shutting down the league’s leading scorer and Heats import Zach Anderson. “Zach is a dynamic perimeter shooter and has great range, he racked up 31 points last time we played them but he had to earn every one of them, our focus will be limiting his touches while shutting down the rest of the Heats impact players,” Balsar said. 

The Tye brothers (Bobby and Tom) have the ability to light it up as well, we will have to be switched on with this pair as well as they can be dangerous.

The Tigers completed two days of school holiday clinics this week, with the team and head coach Scott Balsar putting many of the local kids through their paces.

A full story on Camp Tigers will appear in next Wednesday’s edition of the South Coast Register.

The Tigers are currently running a reverse number draw to raise funds, each player has 16 tickets to sell at $25 each.

If you purchase a ticket it goes into the draw and every ticket sold gets drawn, out prizes are as follows:

First ticket drawn $100, 50th ticket drawn $100, 80th ticket drawn Kobe Bryant Retro NBA singlet, 100th ticket drawn $100, 125th ticket drawn Manu Ginobili NBA singlet, 140th ticket drawn $100, 167th ticket drawn Ray Allen NBA singlet, 185th ticket drawn $100, 199th ticket drawn $200 plus Lebron James NBA singlet, 200th ticket drawn $1000.

The draw will take place on Sunday, August 4 from 2.30pm at Bomaderry RSL Club. 

Don’t miss out on your chance to win some fabulous prizes, including the major prize of $1000.

Buy a ticket from your favourite player or coaching staff now.

Tip-off on Saturday night is at 6pm and doors open at 5pm.

General spectators are encouraged to get there early as there will be very few seats available. Admissions are $5 per adult, $3 child 17 years and under, children four and under are free. 

There will be a 200 club on sale at the door and half-time giveaways, so don’t miss out on a great night of entertainment and fun. 

If you are wishing to pre-purchase tickets for Saturday’s clash, please contact Scott Balsar on 0412 770713.

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