Basketball ACT’s Summer Slam is heating up to an exciting finish, with several teams still in hot contention for the finals.
The high octane seven-week competition features Canberra’s top talents along with Basketball Australia’s Centre of Excellence athletes (formally the AIS) and the brand new NBA Global Academy team.
With the last round of men’s group fixtures tipping off Wednesday, the ‘String Bean Bucks’ sit atop the competition at 4-0. Led by Sam Froling, who is averaging 29 points and 11 rebounds per game, the Bucks will look to continue their undefeated streak when they take on the young and athletic NBA Global Academy squad.
‘Vicious and Delicious’ currently sit at 2-2, needing a victory against ‘White Hair Hot’ in order to keep their finals hopes alive. Sitting at 1-3, White Hair Hot’s finals chances are slim, so a big game from their stars Mate Colina and Aiden Krause, both averaging over 25 points per game, will be required to edge their way into semis.
‘It’s Going Up’ are in a similar boat, holding a win-loss record of 1-3, and needing a win to keep their season alive. They’ll be going up against the red hot ‘Samcouver Grizzlies’ led by Canberra Gunners talents Reece Kaye and Broderick Doran. Fresh off a two-point upset over the NBA Global Academy, the Grizzlies will be looking to carry that momentum over to their last round game and into the semi finals.
In the women’s competition, the ladder looks similar. The Tropics currently hold the top of the ladder, undefeated at 4-0. Big tournaments from Emma Clarke (21 points and 10 rebounds per game) and Jazmin Shelley (25 points per game) have allowed the Tropics to dominate the competition, and they will be looking to keep their win streak alive as they head into their final round game against the ACT U20’s squad.
Currently sitting at third on the ladder, the ACT U20’s will be looking to increase their record to 2-3, requiring big games from Emma Rowcliffe, who is averaging 16 points per game, and the Bourne sisters.
Holding second place on the ladder are the 2-2 Spartans. Led by Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence star Kobe Hawea, who is currently averaging 28 points per game, the team will be looking to lock down second spot with a victory over the Spring Chickens. The Spring Chickens, who have missed multiple players to U17 Australian Sapphires duties, will need big performances from Kristen Langhorn and Samantha Simons (averaging 20 points per game) as they look to notch their second win of the competition.
Head out to Belconnen Basketball Stadium Wednesday night to catch the action and see how the standings pan out.
Written by Jack Braddock / Photos by Paul Furness