Pioneers out to silence Thunder once again

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Pioneers out to silence Thunder once again

The OneFortyOne Pioneers will head east this weekend to take on the Keilor Thunder in NBL1 South conference action.

The Pioneers are coming off a 16 point loss at the hands of Geelong United last Friday at Wulanda.

However, they will be looking to retain their ascendancy over Keilor, having downed the Thunder by 25 when they met in round 4.

Mount Gambier hosted Keilor for that meeting, and at the time the Pioneers handed the Thunder their first loss of the season.

The Thunder have not dropped a game since that round, sitting on top of the ladder with 13 wins and just the one loss.

Meanwhile, the Pioneers have been inconsistent since that round, dropping four games to slip to sixth on the ladder.
Head coach Matt Sutton said his players were ready to bounce back after a tough match last week.

“It was tough, Geelong played a good game, we were okay in some areas and there were some that we let ourselves down in,” he said.

“Overall we were a bit disappointed in our performance.

However, Sutton said his side was keen to take the court against Keilor again, particulary with the return of tall timber Zitina Aokuso, who this week returned from playing with the Australian Opals in China, as part of lead up competition for the Olympics

Aokuso starred in the previous clash with the Thunder, scoring a double double and being awarded the Anzac Medal as best on court

“We are really excited with that challenge coming up with Keilor, we had a decent game against them last time, I thought our plan was pretty good,” Sutton said

“They were not quite at full strength last time, so we’re looking forward to playing them on their home court.
“We defeated them last time,
“Tera Reed did not’ play last time, she’s really good shooter, so they were lacking a bit of shooting last time and we took advantage of that.

“We will have Z back, we are really excited for her to have the opportunity that she had and very happy to have her back.

“We have some things we are working on that we will try to implement, getting back to basics, going over our disciplines and try to get back into some winning form.

Sutton said his side was not placing any emphasis on ladder positions, or how the remainder of the rounds were shaping up.
“We are only worried about Keilor, we are not too worried about the ladder. We focus on the game each time as it comes,” he said.

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