BASKETBALL: A gallant McDonalds Gladstone Port City Power men's team were outclassed 78-66 by South West Metro Pirates on Saturday night.
The night did not go to script for Power captain Troy Robinson who became the club's most capped player after eclipsing daniel Green's 134-game tally with the blue and yellows.
Size and ball movement was the big difference between the two sides and the Pirates executed their plan better while the Power struggled for any flow.
Ray Willis did all he could with 25 points before he was fouled out of the game.
But by that stage the result was pretty much already decided in a game where the hosts had few winners.
In contrast Daniel Kickert showed why he's an NBL player (Brisbane Bullets) with 23 points and Tanner McGrew displayed the skills that won him the QBL MVP award last season.
The strongly-built power forward collected 17 points and 14 rebounds.
Former Power player Jake Allen returned 'home' and had an impact with his energy and strong drives to finish with seven points.
The hosts led 23-22 at quarter-time in which Willis had nine points and young gun Dylan Owen combined with 'Robbo'.
The team play resulted with Tyler Allen nailing two free throws.
It was all the Pirates in the second term where they blew the game open.
McGrew's triple put the Pirates in front and Max Kerle knocked down the first of his two triples.
From there, Port City Power battled to make up the deficit.
Robinson told the Observer post-game that there were some good signs but with much work to do.
"They hit some big shots at the right time,” Robinson said.
"We'd go on a run and then they'd hit shots to sort of stem that and we had a good couple of runs there, but I guess their big time players hit big time shots,” Robinson said.
"We were definitely stagnant and when the ball moved we were good at going in transition, but we were too focussed in trying to exploit mismatches instead of allowing those mismatches come to us.”
Robinson said the Power is still trying to work out how to use Nathaniel Musters as the second low post player with Will Shackleford.
"I think we are a little bit, but I don't know whether we're focussing too much on that and whether we are trying to get him too involved and therefore not looking at other scoring opportunities and get him easier looks from that,” Robinson said.
"We just need to do a better job all-round of not relying on one or two players to create and trying to get everyone else involved.”
From a personal point of view, Robinson proud in what he has achieved.
"I don't really have any words and it's just real humbling I guess,” Robinson said.
"I'm not the most talented but I bust my arse each week and keep coming back.”