Mandurah Magic’s bid for a maiden State Basketball League championship will be put on the line in a best-of-three play-off series with the East Perth Eagles starting tomorrow night.
Magic ended the home-and-away season in fifth place following last weekend’s 98-92 loss to the Goldfields Giants.
Victory in Kalgoorlie-Boulder would have allowed Jason Chalk’s side to climb to fourth and secure a potentially important home-court advantage against the Eagles.
Instead, they play game one of the series at the Mandurah Aquatic and Recreation Centre tomorrow, ahead of two matches at the Morley Sport and Recreation Centre next Friday and Saturday.
East Perth and the Cockburn Cougars are the only two sides Mandurah failed to beat in a season which included victories over premiership frontrunners Wanneroo Wolves and Lakeside Lightning. The Eagles inflicted Mandurah’s heaviest loss, a 49-point thrashing in round 10.
They again had Magic’s measure when the sides met in Mandurah last month, winning 114-100.
If there was any side Mandurah hoped to avoid in their first quarter-final appearance since 1999, it was the Eagles.
Regardless, the Peel side will be confident of turning the tables on East Perth following arguably their best SBL season.
In big-men Taylor Mullenax and Tom Remmerswaal, Magic boast two of the competition’s most potent offensive weapons.
Mullenax is third for average points scored with 24.2, while Remmerswaal (23.1) isn’t far behind in seventh.
Mandurah have also been well-served by veteran Aaron Trahair in recent weeks, with the 36-year-old averaging 16.5 points in his past seven matches.
East Perth’s main avenue to the basket has been centre Tom Jervis (21 points), who also sits third for total rebounds with nearly 14 a game. Tomorrow night’s match tips-off at 7.30pm.