Pioneers eager to bounce back on road

Pioneers eager to bounce back on road

In a road trip double header the Castec Rural Pioneers will head to Geelong to take on Geelong United on Saturday night, then on Sunday they will play the Bendigo Braves in Bendigo.

Geelong currently sits 16th on the ladder with a record of 2-3.

Geelong has played the least amount of games so far in the conference with five games, while Bendigo sits 15th with a record of 3-4.

The Pioneers dropped to 9th after their loss to Keilor and now have a record of 4-2.

Mount Gambier will have to stop Geelong’s Latrell Jones who is leading the team in points with 23.60 per game and George Blagojevic who is averaging a double double in two games.

Bendigo are currently in rough form, losing three straight games and when they play Mount Gambier they will be coming off a game the night before against Waverley.

For the Pioneers to succeed this weekend they will need to play better defence on the whole team.

In last week’s game against Keilor the Pioneers let six players score over 10 points, which is something they will have to work on because it’s hard to beat a side that has everyone contributing.

On the Pioneers side they need more people to contribute this week.

Last week they only had two players scoring in double digits, with Nick Marshall carrying most of the load with 35 points and Akech Aliir just getting there with 10.

Heading into this week’s games, head coach Richard Hill is optimistic about the side coming away with two wins.

“We are hopeful, our form has been really inconsistent, we had not played well last weekend so we are working hard to try and get that sorted,” he said.

“We just need to get better, if we play our best we beat Geelong – and if we don’t, we will probably get beaten.”

From last week’s game Guard Tom Daly will be out for at least one game with a strained abductor muscle.

“It’s a bit of a pain in the butt because he was starting to play well,” Hill said.

Hill believes a big thing that will help improve the team ahead of the road trip is playing more games together.

“It’s just more games and sorting through stuff.

“We just are not playing well, we have three or four guys that are playing well but as a group we are not playing great basketball.”

With the team’s recent average form Hill spoke about how more players need to contribute.

“We would love to have more guys in double figures or putting points on the board but some of the guys have just been struggling.

“They are working their butts off but their forms are not great, why that is, is sometimes hard to put a finger on,” Hill said.

The Pioneers next home game is against the Nunawading Spectres on May 10.

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