The West

Desperate wish for glory - men s SBL
Jarrod Balcombe (East Perth) and Grant Davey (Cockburn) at the WA Basketball Centre today. Picture: Nic Ellis

One thing is for sure in this unpredictable State Basketball League season, Saturday night's grand final showdown between Cockburn and East Perth at the WA Basketball Centre will produce a fairytale championship for the winners.

It has been a long wait for Cockburn, who snared their one and only title in 1992.

But at least the Cougars have a title and four grand final appearances to their name.

East Perth have never won the competition's highest honour, let alone reached the decider.

Cockburn captain Grant Davey, 33, was just beginning his junior basketball career when the Cougars, including a young Martin Cattalini, won the championship 20 years ago.

"It has been mentioned around the club over the last couple of weeks, the 20-year anniversary, so hopefully that might be a bit of good fortune for us," Davey said.

"There have always been quite big expectations on our club and we've always had quite good lists, but we just haven't been able to get over the line.

"It's a big day and big opportunity for us to actually put the points on the board and win one rather than just be speculated as a possibility."

Standing in the Cougars' way will be an East Perth side boasting Jarrod Balcombe, Drew Williamson and Tom Jervis.

All have spent time with the Perth Wildcats over the past few seasons and 213cm centre Jervis was called up to the Boomers training squad last year.

Balcombe said stopping Cockburn's American imports Jeremiah Wilson and Brian Carlwell would be crucial to the Eagles' chances.

"We've been playing really good, working hard and staying focused," Balcombe said.

"We've got to stops on defence. They've probably got two of the best imports in the league and they're both averaging big numbers."

Perennial underdogs East Perth did things the hard way, coming from fourth place after the regular season to knock out reigning champions Wanneroo in the semifinals.

Winning their maiden grand final would give the entire Eagles club a tremendous boost.

"Everyone knows that we haven't really been successful but we're just really focusing on us and trying to get a win in the grand final," Balcombe said.

"It would be huge. There's lots of support around our club and everyone's really happy that we're in the grand final.

"It's a big thing for us to even make the grand final but it would be even better if we can win it."

It seemed inevitable through the season that there would be a Wanneroo-Lakeside grand final, but the third and fourth sides made a mockery of that idea in the semifinals.

The West Australian

Latest News From The West

Popular videos

Our Picks

Follow Us

More from The West