NBL1 West 2022: Slammers’ new UK import makes debut
The South West Slammers men’s team were unable to get any reward for effort in their back-to-back games last weekend, going down to the Lakeside Lightning and Warwick Senators.
Lakeside Lighting d South West Slammers 96-84, Friday night at Eaton Recreation Centre
The Slammers headed into the contest sweating on the fitness of import Buay Tuach who was questionable with a hip flexor injury.
However, these concerns quickly turned around when it was confirmed Raphell Thomas-Edwards — a British Basketball League player on holidays in WA — had been granted permission from government and sport administrators to play for the Slammers.
Before Friday night, Slammers coach Shane Goff was hopeful the UK star would be able to play — and his faith paid off almost instantly, as Thomas-Edwards’ appetite to attack the basket got the home side off to a brilliant start.
Unfortunately for the Slammers, something which has plagued them all season — three-point shooting — came back to haunt them once again.
A team who notoriously shoot well from beyond the arc, Lakeside shot more than 71 per cent (5/7) from three-point land during the opening four minutes, which forced Goff to call a timeout.
Despite keeping in check with the visitors for most of the night, the Slammers were unable to curb the influence of dynamic American import Landon Taliaferro, who dropped a game-high 45 points.
Remarkably, Taliaferro, a former NBA G-League player, sunk 11 of his side’s 14 successful three-point shots.
Field goals (Lightning 22/39, Slammers 22/45); three-point attempts(Lightning 14/49, Slammers 6/24); free-throw attempts (Slammers 22/30, Lightning 10/21) total rebounds (Lightning 58-45 Slammers); assists (Lightning 24-9 Slammers); steals (Slammers 12-11 Lightning); turnovers (Slammers 22-19 Lightning)
Warwick Senators d South West Slammers 107-82, Saturday night at Warwick Stadium
The Slammers kept pace early with the Senators, trailing 50-45 at half-time.
Unfortunately for coach Goff, the home side clicked through the gears in the third term to run away with a convincing 107-82 win.
On a positive note, Tuach was declared fit to play and finished with 20 points in his comeback game, while Thomas-Edwards (21 points, 18 rebounds) finished with a double-double in his first road game with the club.
Field goals (Senators 29/42, Slammers 31/70); three-point attempts (Senators 14/39, Slammers 3/24); free-throw attempts (Slammers 11/18, Senators 7/11) total rebounds (Slammers 52-48 Senators); assists (Senators 27-16 Slammers); steals (Senators 12-11 Slammers); turnovers (Senators 22-20 Slammers)
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