Giants to go all-out in tough NBL1 road clash against Willetton Tigers

Neale HarveyKalgoorlie Miner
Goldfields Giants’ Haley Waites.
Camera IconGoldfields Giants’ Haley Waites. Credit: Amber Lilley/Kalgoorlie Miner

The Goldfields Giants’ hopes of extending a two-game winning sequence in the women’s NBL1 division on the road this weekend will be made tougher in the absence of two key players.

Giants head coach Rob Thomson on Friday said Jaya Scafidi and Haley Waites would miss Saturday night’s clash against 2021 champion Willetton.

The Tigers are second with a 9-1 win-loss record.

But after a rough start to their inaugural NBL1 campaign, the Giants have notched back-to-back wins against Perth and Perry Lakes.

“The Tigers are what we’re striving to be, the reigning champions, so we know we are in for a tough game,” Thomson said.

“The only game they have lost this season was in the first round when they were missing a number of their stars due to commitments with the Perth Lynx.

“They are very consistent and they know how to win, so that is a challenge for us to try and disrupt their game style.”

Thomson looked forward to other players stepping up to fill the void.

“Not many people will give us a chance this weekend, but within the squad we are quietly confident — if we stick to our game plan and execute,” he said.

“With Jaya missing, we’ll rotate our point-guard duties.

“Not having Haley coming off the bench to give our bigs a rest means there are opportunities for players like Alex Clinch-Hoycard and Ash Sidebottom to step up and get some extra minutes.

“It also helps that we only have one game on this road trip.

“We can throw everything we have at the Tigers, knowing we don’t have to back it up on the Sunday.”

Giants co-captain Jemma Gatti is equal first in the league for assists at six per game, alongside Cockburn’s Jewel Marie Williams.

Goldfields are ninth with a 3-7 record.

The Giants’ men’s team this weekend takes on Willetton and Rockingham in a two-game road series.

Fifth-placed Giants are favoured against 10th placed Willetton (5-7) on Saturday night.

The real test, however, will be in Sunday’s clash against Rockingham who are second with a 9-2 record.

Goldfields import Hussayn Ford is second in the league for rebounds at 11.18 per game, behind the Tigers’ Oliver Hayes-Brown (13.40 per game).

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