Port City Power face tough away trips as QBL draw released
BASKETBALL: Gladstone Port City Power will be tested with three double headers and one triple header after the 2018 Queensland Basketball League draw was released this week.
The Power has a Round One bye, but will tip off its season on with a double header on May 5-6 against USC Rip City and SC Phoenix at the Sunshine Coast.
The first match at Kev Broome Stadium is schedule for Saturday, May 12, with the women tipping off at 6pm and the men at 8pm.
The Power men and women have identical draws with their games starting two hours apart.
Perhaps the club's biggest test will come during June where the side plays eight games including a triple header away from home on June 8-10.
Men's head coach Brady Walmsely said roster management would be crucial during that stretch of the season.
"You've got to be quite strategic over the course of the season - as cliched as it sounds, it's a marathon not a sprint,” Walmsely said.
"My responsibility is to make sure our team is in a really good place towards the end of that draw, not necessary the start of it.
"Managing those double headers and triple headers are part and parcel of being in the QBL.
"As challenging as some of those weekends can be, they can also really galvanise your team and set them up for a really successful season.
"We're looking forward to a lot of those road trips because if we get things right they can really be helpful for us as we move ahead.
"We'll use those road trips to our advantage to make sure we're building that requisite camaraderie to make the team as successful as we can.”
Despite an off-season overhaul which has seen the likes of Ray Willis, Willie Shackleford and Remy Lawyer depart the club, Walmsely is feeling comfortable with his current roster.
"We've had that pretty settled for a couple of months now and that was one of our major focusses in the off-season; to recruit the right type of people and having that all locked away early so our planning could be in accordance with the roster.
"We're in a really good position now and going to start pre-season with our local guys in (two) weeks.
"In terms of the roster, we'll just round it out with a local contingent that will come as a result of our open scrimmages we're starting (on February 14).”
As far as season expectations are concerned, Walmsely hasn't set a target yet but conceded a top-five finish could be a stretch too far.
"My major focus at this point is making sure I recruited people that I thought fit the culture and the vision of the product we want to put on floor and we've done that.” he said.
"My next challenge is making sure I prepared the team in a way that will allow us to be successful.
"So the focus now turns to our preparation for the season and if we get that right the rest will take care of itself.”
The Power is currently working on organising pre-season matches against QBL opposition.
GLADSTONE PORT CITY POWER 2018 QBL SEASON DRAW
(Home games in bold)
Round 1: Bye (April 27/28)
Round 2: Saturday, May 5 v USC Rip City
Saturday, May 6 v SC Phoenix
Round 3: Saturday, May 12 v Toowoomba 6pm Women, 8pm Men
Round 4: Saturday, May 19 v Mackay 6pm/8pm
Round 5: Friday, May 25 v Rockhampton
Round 6: Saturday, June 2 v Brisbane Spartans 6pm/8pm
Round 7: Friday, June 8 v North Gold Coast
Saturday, June 9 v South West Pirates
Sunday, June 10 v Gold Coast
Round 8: Sunday, June 17 v Cairns 12pm/2pm
Round 9: Friday, June 22 v Townsville
Saturday, June 23 v Cairns
Round 10: Saturday, June 30 v Rockhampton 6/8pm
Round 11: Saturday, July 7 v Ipswich 6pm/8pm
Round 12: Saturday, July 14 v Mackay
Round 13: Saturday, July 21 v Townsville 6pm/8pm
Round 14: Bye (July 27/28)
Round 15: Saturday, August 4 v Brisbane Capitals 6pm/8pm
Sunday, August 5 v Logan 12pm/2pm