Power men give Clippers a fright
By CRAIG ROSScraigr@gladstoneobserver.com.au
THE Giants Liquor Port City Power men's basketball side gave hot shots Maroochydore Clippers a hell of a fright in their QABL Southern Cross division clash at Kev Broome Stadium on Saturday night.
The Clippers, widely hailed as the competition favourites, eventually prevailed 102-87 but only after having trailed for most of the match.
The Power came out hard from the start, using pace and accurate shooting to frustrate their opponents and charge to a 25-20 lead at the first break.
They kept the momentum going to lead 48-39 at halftime and, when that lead blew out to 58-43 about two minutes into the third quarter, a major upset appeared in the offing.
However, Maroochydore's experience and height advantage began to take its toll with the visitors finishing strongly to grab victory over a gallant Power.
Leading the Power charge was Josh Gill whose experience is proving a boon for Port City coach Dean Page.
Gill, whose talent has taken him to Rockhampton, Mackay (twice) and Cairns in a distinguished QABL career, said he was enjoying his return to his home town.
'I'm just rapt to be here and I want to win for Gladstone,' Gill said after his strong performance.
He said the Power didn't capitalise on their chances but had shown courage on the court.
'We played hard and you can't teach players to play hard,' he said.
'The core of this team is young and we'll have at least another four or five years together so we'll get even stronger.'
Gill said he hoped the experience he had gained at other franchises would help provide the Power with the confidence they needed to lift another level.
Gill bagged 19 points, collected 11 rebounds and made four assists in a starring role for the Power while other strong contributors were Glen Chapman (20 points, four assists), Aaron Nagas (19 points, four assists) and Kane Macready (13 points, nine rebounds, seven assists).
Power coach Dean Page said his side would learn a lot from the defeat.
'Everyone can be proud of their efforts but, in the end, we lost a game we could've won,' he said.
'It's OK to be pleased with how we went but we didn't get the job done and that's what we came to do.'