NBL1 West: Rockingham Flames too hot for local rivals Mandurah Magic

Monday, 24 June 2024 09:55

By Monique Welhan

Devondrick Walker returned to the court after eight games off. PIC: Rockingham Flames/Facebook

The Rockingham Flames proved too hot for local rivals the Mandurah Magic at Mike Barnett Sports Complex at the weekend.

The Flames women, who currently sit at the top of the NBL1 West ladder, went into the clash having lost their last two games but got back into winning form on Friday night on their home court.

Rockingham led the entire game, at one point as much as 31 points, before the game ended in a 22-point victory.

Emma Gandini was a standout with 24 points, two rebounds and two assists, while Georgia Pineau contributed with 14 points and eight rebounds.

Mandurah's loss saw them stay at tenth place on the ladder and with just four games remaining they risk not playing finals.

Coach Vlad Alava said they are determined to make it into the top eight.

"Mathematically there is still a chance of making the finals, obviously the nature of that is we need to start winning the rest of our games...and perhaps leaning on one or two teams to drop some games," Alava said.

"If I'm honest, I feel like we're the competition's sleeping giants, unfortunately a sleeping giant is no good to anyone, we've gotta wake up a little bit." 

Meanwhile, the Rockingham Flames men saw the return of star import Devondrick Walker, who had missed their past eight games due to injury.

The Flames were desperate for a win having managed just three of the last eight that saw them slip to seventh on the ladder.

The fourth-placed Magic put up a huge fight against Rockingham, leading by 17 points in the first half.

Rockingham then turned the tables when Walker hit the floor for the first time in the match, the two-time MVP helping to lead the Flames to a two-point victory.

The loss pushes Mandurah back to fifth spot in the standings.

Coach Mark Utley said it was disappointing to lose by just a couple of points.

"Sometimes you over analyse losses but you've got to put it into perspective, we lost to a quality team, away from home, by two, missing 11 free throws and shooting the ball at about 20 per cent from the three point line, so it is something that we've got to address," Utley said.

The Rockingham Flames played their second game for the weekend on Saturday at the home court of the Joondalup Wolves.

The women secured their spot at the top of the ladder with a 44-point thrashing of the Wolves, while the men lost by 18 points.





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