'08 NWBL season tips-off this weekend

'08 NWBL season tips-off this weekend

The opening round of the 2008 men’s National Wheelchair Basketball League (NWBL) season commences this weekend and with the Beijing Paralympics less than four months away competition expected to be as fierce as ever. While the Rollers Paralympic squad is

The opening round of the 2008 men’s National Wheelchair Basketball League (NWBL) season commences this weekend and with the Beijing Paralympics less than four months away competition expected to be as fierce as ever.

While the Rollers Paralympic squad is well underway in preparing for the games, season 2008 will allow national team selectors a chance to follow the progress of players on the cusp as well as provide crucial court time for national team members in the lead up to the Games.

Click here to visit the NWBL homepage and here for the results page.

In round one action, the Adelaide Thunder will travel to Wollongong to take on the Rollerhawks at Shellharbour Stadium on Friday and Saturday night before facing the Wentworthville Wheelkings in Ryde, Sydney on Sunday afternoon.

Roller Tristan Knowles will be key for the Rollerhawks while Wentworthville will rely heavily on the feats of up and coming star Bill Latham and former Dutch international Koen Jansens.

The Dandenong Rangers host the Brisbane Spinning Bullets in a two game series while Wentworthville will also go head-to-head with the Troy Sachs lead West Sydney Razorbacks on Saturday night.

Sachs, a four-time and gold medal winning Paralympian averaged a massive 26.5 points and a league high 19.3 rebounds per game last season and is aiming for an unprecedented fifth Paralympic Games appearance.

Two-time defending champions Perth, with national team head coach Ben Ettridge as coach, have the bye in the opening round.

The Wheelcats, boasting Rollers captain Brad Ness and key national team members Shaun Norris, last season’s overall MVP, Justin Eveson and Michael Hartnett, start the season as championship favourites in their pursuit of a three-peat.

The Rollers will depart Australia on Sunday 25 May headed for Germany to take part in an intense four-nation invitational tournament against Canada, USA and Germany between May 29 and June 1.

They will play six games in five days before returning home on June 4.

The 13-man team for that tour will be announced tomorrow.

The 2008 NWBL season consists of eight home and away rounds with the finals weekend on August 15 – 17 in Dandenong.

Click here for the full draw.

Round 1 schedule:

Friday 23 May

Wollongong Rollerhawks v Adelaide Thunder         
Shellharbour Sports Stadium, 7:30pm

Saturday 24 May

Dandenong Rangers v Brisbane Spinning Bullets     
Dandenong Stadium, 4pm

Wollongong Rollerhawks v Adelaide Thunder         
Shellharbour Sports Stadium, 5pm

Wentworthville Wheelkings v West Sydney           
Ryde Aquatic Centre, 11:30am

Sunday 25 May

Wentworthville Wheelkings v Adelaide Thunder     
Ryde Aquatic Centre, 11am

Dandenong Rangers v Brisbane Spinning Bullets     
Dandenong Stadium, 12noon

Competing teams: Adelaide Thunder, Brisbane Spinning Bullets, Dandenong Rangers, Perth Wheelcats, Wentworthville Wheelkings, West Sydney Razorbacks and Wollongong Rollerhawks.

Adelaide Thunder:

Key player/s: Daryl Taylor

Championships: 5 (Adelaide 86ers 1988, Adelaide Steam 1990/1991, Adelaide Thunder 1994/1995).

Head Coach: Kylie Taylor

2007 finishing position: 6th


Brisbane Spinning Bullets:

Key player/s: Adrian King, Tige Simmons, Jace Clare

Championships: 0

Head Coach: Tom Kyle

2007 finishing position: 7th


Dandenong Rangers

Key player/s: Shaun Groenewegen, Dylan Alcott

Championships: 1 (2000)
Head Coach: Shaun Groenewegen

2007 finishing position: 5th


Perth Wheelcats

Key player/s: Brad Ness, Shaun Norris, Justin Eveson

Championships: 3 (2002, 2006, 2007)
Head Coach: Ben Ettridge

2007 finishing position: Champions


Wentworthville Wheelkings

Key player/s: Bill Latham, Jeremy Van Asperen

Championships: 0
Head Coach: Gerry Hewson

2007 finishing position: 4th


West Sydney Razorbacks

Key player/s: Troy Sachs, Grant Mizens, Brendon Dowler, Darren Skuse

Championships: 5 (West Sydney Slix 1997/1998, West Sydney Razorbacks 2001/2004/2005)

Head Coach: Sonya Healy

2007 finishing position: Runners-up


Wollongong Rollerhawks

Key player/s: Tristan Knowles, Andrew Flavell, Brett Stibners

Championships: 1 (2003)
Head Coach: Jim Williams

2007 finishing position: 3rd

2007 results:

Win/Loss

Home

Away

Points

Points

       Point

Team

For

Against

   Diff

Perth Wheelcats

12-0

7-0

5-0

939

(78.3)

558

(46.5)

381 (31.8)

Wollongong Roller Hawks

9-3

5-1

4-2

1053 (87.8)

844

(70.3)

209 (17.4)

West Sydney Razorbacks

7-5

5-2

2-3

932

(77.7)

835

(69.6)

97
(8.1)

Wentworthville WheelKings

6-6

4-2

2-4

846

(70.5)

877

(73.1)

-31
(-2.6)

Dandenong Rangers

5-7

3-2

2-5

 

768

(64.0)

 

718

(59.8)

 

50
(4.2)

Adelaide Thunder

2-10

1-4

1-6

 

736

(61.3)

 

1047 (87.3)

 

-311
(25.9)

Brisbane Spinning Bullets

1-11

1-5

0-6

 

744

(62.0)

 

1139 (94.9)

 

-395
(32.9)