Pioneers to face reigning champs

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Pioneers to face reigning champs

The Castec Rural Pioneers have back to back games as part of a Victorian road trip this weekend in round 7 of the NBL1 South conference.

The Pioneers will travel across the border to take on the reigning champs Knox Raiders on Saturday night, before taking the court against the Casey Cavaliers on Sunday afternoon.

The Pioneers are currently second on the ladder in the NBL1 South conference with a record of 7-2, with Knox in eighth with a record of 5-4.

The Raiders are a high scoring team as they average 95.89 points per game with six players averaging double digits.

This sets the scene for a high scoring affair, given how well the Pioneers offence has been running hot over the past few games.

Pioneers head coach Richard Hill believes that Knox is a good team, but has not been performing to its usual standard so far.

“On paper they probably have one of the best teams in the competition – if not the best team – they are loaded but they have not been playing great,” he said.

Hill spoke of the difficulty of playing a side like Knox on the road.

“Knox on their home court over there is going to be very tough,” he said.

“They were the best team in Australia last year and they have upped the ante by bringing in more players.

“We’re playing well, so we feel like we might be able to get that one.”

The Cavaliers have not had the best start to the year as they sit last on the ladder with a record of 2-7 and heading into this game the Pioneers will be heavy favourites.

Although Mount Gambier are favourites, Hill believes the result of this game is still unknown with how competitive every team in the competition is.

“Casey have been unknown, they have a really talented roster but they have not been playing well,” Hill said.

“You cannot predict what’s going to happen, second game on the road is sometimes tough.

“On form you say that we should win that game, but I look at their roster and think ‘why are not they winning’ and we have just got to make sure that doesn’t happen against us.”

The Pioneers will return to Wulanda on May 24 to take on the Eltham Wildcats.

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