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QBL Semi Final Previews and Predictions
The quarterfinals last week served up upsets, tight contests and dominant romps aplenty! We now progress into the semifinals with four tantalising clashes that are sure to excite any hoops fan.
We preview the match ups with comment from the leagues stars and assessments, including those from Nothing but Net Media’s Jon Guarna.
Brisbane Capitals vs Rockhampton Rockets
The Brisbane Capitals were dominant against Logan, coming away with a 31 point win. A well oiled machine ready to wreak havoc in these playoffs.
Jason Cadee: “We are confident no matter who we play. We know the Rockets are tough and with guys like Brucey [Shaun Bruce] and AJ [Oglivy] you have to be ready. Our crowd was great last week and hopefully even better again this week.”
Shaun Bruce with his 35 points helped the Rockhampton Rockets pull away and take the win against the Cairns Marlins in the quarterfinals. Great recruitment has been the key for the Rockets this season.
Jamaal Robateau: “We feel really good and confident. We are playing our best basketball at the right time and I think those two big wins against Townsville and Mackay gave us that momentum and confidence to go out and beat Cairns. Caps should be a great game, they got us earlier in the season but I think we are a much better defensive team now then we were then.”
Rowan tips: Home court advantage will go a long way in this one but I feel an upset is greatly possible here. I am tipping the Rockets by less than five in a tight one.
Jon tips: Rocky is rolling right now after going into Cairns and knocking off the Marlins. Caps also had a huge win at home against rivals Logan. This one for me is the game of the round and I expect it to be a tight one. I have to go with Brisbane because they have been the best team all season, they are deep and they are playing at home.
Gold Coast Rollers vs Townsville Heat
The Gold Coast Rollers boast a near-perfect mix of veterans who still have it and youth who are ready to show it. Hungry for success and will be ready to matchup against the defending champion this week.
Tidjane Diop: “We’re feeling great, huge win for the club especially having both our women’s and men’s teams go through to semis - that hasn’t been done for a very long time. We’re looking forward to Townsville, another great challenge for us seeing as we lost to them last year in the quarters and are yet to beat them”
Escaping with a two point win against the Mackay Meteors in the quarterfinals, the defending champion Townsville Heat will be looking to dispose of the Rollers in a more classy fashion. Wilcher will lead these guys around again and being that close to the mission of a Grand Final berth he will be looking for only one result in this one.
Josh Wilcher: “Feeling good after a close win obviously. We’re all pretty confident as a group, Gold Coast are tough especially at home. They have a veteran team who know how to play big games so it will come down to whoever can execute better on Saturday. We are excited for the challenge.”
Rowan tips: Rocket Rod Anderson will bring his squad to the GC and Wilcher will be wanting to show they can get it done by more than two points as they did against the Meteors. The guy is his own biggest critic and will have his lads primed for another win here and stamping another grand final berth to go for that three-peat. Heat in this one.
Jon tips: Gold Coast vs Townsville should be another great game. Townsville scraped by Mackay last week while Gold Coast wore down a game USC Rip City. Townsville always has a chance with Josh Wilcher running the show, but I think Gold Coast has too many weapons for the Heat to handle this week.
Townsville Flames vs Gold Coast Rollers
Abby Bishop: “Squad is feeling good, it was nice to see the upset on the weekend with Ipswich beating Rocky as that’s now given us a home semi and some extra confidence going into the game weekend. It won’t be easy but nothing better than playing finals basketball on your home court.”
Arianne Moorer: “My team is definitely feeling good after the win against Logan. Now we have to focus on Townsville and we know it will be a challenge but out coach will prepare us for all possible scenarios.”
Rowan tips: Dominance of Bishop meets the point scoring consistency of Moorer this one is going to be huge. The Flames head to Carrara but I cannot see the Rollers getting past this squad that stars the best overall player in the league. Flames by 10+.
Jon tips: Gold Coast is rolling into the semifinals with nothing to lose because I think outside of themselves, not many people picked them to even make Finals. But they have been great all year and just did a number on a very talented Logan team. Townsville has been a different team since the addition of Abby Bishop and I don't know if Gold Coast will be able to slow her down. I think Bishop has a big game and the Flames dominate on the glass to run away with a win in this one.
Southern District Spartans vs Ipswich Force
Aja Parham-Ammar: “We played well in the second half to pull out the win against RIP. Natalie Taylor and Odette Isaac shoot the ball very well and Leah Scott had another strong game for us. Ipswich is coming off a big upset win in Rocky so their confidence will be high. We played them the last game of the season and we are going in knowing they are a great team. We will need to play much better than we did the last match up. Looking forward to the challenge.”
Georgia Ralph: “The team is on a massive high after Saturday night, not a lot of people thought we could do it but we backed ourselves and got it done. So we’re really proud of ourselves! We’ll be in the exact same situation again this weekend being the underdogs, but that’s extremely motivating for us. Spartans are a great team and we know it’ll be another great game.”
Rowan tips: The Force got away with the win over the Cyclones by five points in the quarter finals – I cannot see that being repeated in this one. Spartans with far too much big game experience and with Scott, Isaac and Parham-Ammar it will a tough night at the office for the Ipswich girls. Spartans by 12+.
Jon tips: Spartans vs Ipswich is going to be a cracking game. Ipswich would come into the game with a lot of confidence after going on the road and taking down the number two team in Rockhampton. Ipswich matches up well with Spartans and they have a difference-maker in Amanda Johnson. But I think Spartans are a stronger group with a ton of championship experience, and I think that will be the difference in the game. Spartans in a close one.