Women’s finals hopes hinge on five matches in 14 days

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Women’s finals hopes hinge on five matches in 14 days

The OneFortyOne Pioneers women have a tough series of matches ahead of them in the race to the NBL1 South conference finals.

This weekend will feature the first two matches of a five game run across 14 days as the home and away season winds up.

The Pioneers will travel to Melbourne to take on the Nunawading Spectres on Saturday night, before backing up against the Dandenong Rangers on Sunday.

Mount Gambier is coming off a win over the Hobart Chargers last Friday and will take on bottom of the ladder Nunawading which has only registered two wins for the season.

The Pioneers hosted Nunawading in round 6, with Mount Gambier securing an 80-63 win.

Pioneers head coach Matt Sutton said his side was not phased by the prospect of another double header road trip.

“Not really, we do not view road trips as difficult, the opposition no matter where we play them at home or away is tough,” he said.

“It is part of the opportunity of doing it, the rest of the season we will have to navigate Z’s (Zitina Aokuso’s) opportunities with the Opals and where that lands us.

“We might have her this weekend, or we might not – we are finding out soon.

She’s got a camp and some games in Melbourne, then we find out if she makes the (Olympics) team.”

Meanwhile, Sunday’s match is shaping up as a tougher affair, as the Rangers sit one rung below the Pioneers in fifth position, with Mount Gambier’s stats only slightly better with 12 wins and five losses, compared to Dandenong’s 11 and six.

The Pioneers will be greeted by a familiar face when they take the court against Dandenong, with former Pioneer Imogen Rock now playing for the Rangers.

Sutton said his side would also be wary of Nyadiew Puoch, one of the players of the future.

“Dandenong have Imogen Rock who played with us last year, they also have Nyadiew Puoch, she got drafted in the WNBA, she is one of the brightest young stars in Australian basketball,” he said.

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