A strong win for the Firebrand Otago Gold Rush last night has ensured the race to the Sal's NBL 18IN18 playoffs is alive with five teams still battling for the four finals berths.
Tonight the Gold Rush can improve their chances if they find a way to topple the ETCO Auckland Dream, who are also searching for a victory following a loss last time out.
A standout attribute to the Gold Rush's 58-48 win over the Kapuna Capital Swish was a real aggressive and tenacious approach from the outset, the team looked 'on' and ready to deliver.
Zoe Richards, Lisa Wallbutton and Te Araroa Sopoaga all played well, while the overall contribution by the full team would have been pleasing for coach Gavin Briggs.
Equally, the Dream also need a win tonight with their own playoffs hopes hinging on a positive result. A 66-76 loss to the Swish on Friday night has put them on the back foot. You can expect a very active Dream team to take to the court tonight as they look to bounce back.
Can the Gold Rush back up and upset the Dream? Will the Dream come out with a full head of steam after their unexpected loss to the Swish?
Once again a close contest is expected.
# Tonight's game will feature a curtain raiser between 20 NBL men's players, led by Dom Kelman-Poto and Hyrum Harris. The game tips off at 5:30pm.
Key Dream Players: Arielle Williams-Mackey, Sharne Robati, Casyn Buchman.
Key Gold Rush Players: Zoe Richards, Lisa Wallbutton, Te Araroa Sopoaga.
THREE KEYS TO THE GAME
1. Energy! The payoffs are on the line for both teams, so anything less than 100% energy from the opening tip will not be enough to get the win. Game on!
2. Te Araroa Sopoaga continues to show she is a star on the rise. The 18-year old is getting better with every game and if she continues that quick rise tonight then she will cause the Dream more than a few headaches.
3. The Dream looked out of sorts on Friday and just need to put that one behind them. Shooting has to be better tonight, and defensively expect to see a big lift. If the Dream bring their A-game and come with the right mindset, a big bounce-back game can be expected.
WHAT: Sal's NBL 18IN18
WHERE: Pulman Arena, south Auckland
WHEN: 7:30pm tip-off
COST: Adults $10 | U18s free
BROADCAST: Live on Sky Sport Select (Ch50)