THE newly re-branded Southern Peninsula Sharks could be in for a big year if their pre-season matches are anything to go by.
The Sharks’ men’s Big V team have won all three of their pre-season games with their most recent victory coming over Mornington on Saturday 23 February while their women’s team is going just as well having won all bar two of their matches.
Those two games were a draw against Frankston and a loss against Waverly who are both NBL 1 league teams.
Despite losing several key players at the end of last season, Southern Peninsula Sharks basketball operations manager, Lucas Allen, is confident that they have filled the gaps and are good to go for the upcoming season.
“The men’s team have eight new players at the moment and the women’s have about five or six,” Allen said.
“The men’s team are clicking really well, it doesn’t seem like the team hasn’t played together before. They’re continuing to work on the whole gelling part in preparation for the season.
“Losing some of the players that the women’s team did last year makes life tough. Losing players like Jaz Shelley and a couple of other girls leave some pretty big holes but they’re pretty confident that they’ve done a good job in trying to fill them.”
Changing the shape of a team can be detrimental but Allen believes if they can take their pre-season form into the official season, they’ll be a strong chance.
“We are feeling pretty confident obviously we can only go off what we’ve done so far in pre-season and we’ve played fairly well so far but that doesn’t mean anything,” he said. “We’ve got to actually have output and contributions from everybody throughout the season for it to matter.
“Most of our guys have played fairly well throughout the games but the defence was our strong point. We kept [Mornington] to 30 points in the first half and kind of rolled with that for the rest of the game so that’s what we’ll hang our hat on.
“Within the women’s division for the last few years they’ve had some close games and they’ve got to be able to take care of them in order to secure their place in the top four throughout the season.”
The Sharks will kick off their official season at home with the men’s team set to face Altona while the women’s team will face Werribee in the opening round on Saturday 16 March.
First published in the Frankston Times – 11 March 2019