Giants post solid win in basketball league ahead of tough road trip

Neale HarveyKalgoorlie Miner
Giants’ Randy Bell charges downcourt during his team’s NBL1 West match against South West Slammers at Niels Hansen Stadium on Saturday.
Camera IconGiants’ Randy Bell charges downcourt during his team’s NBL1 West match against South West Slammers at Niels Hansen Stadium on Saturday. Credit: Carwyn Monck/Kalgoorlie Miner

Goldfields Giants men’s coach Matt Van Pelt wants more of the same in this weekend’s gruelling NBL1 road trip after his squad overcame a tardy start to beat the visiting South-West Slammers 98-85 on Saturday night.

The Giants boosted their win-loss record to 2-2 — good enough for fifth place on the back of Randy Bell’s game-high 30 points and 13 rebounds.

Bell complemented a big night with seven assists, the main support provided by De’Sean Parsons (24 points; eight rebounds; five assists) and Kon Anguik (18 points; three rebounds).

Manylok Malek and Jerome Reid combined for 12 points, 10 rebounds and four assists off the bench and the team went at 38 per cent from outside the arc in a big improvement on past efforts.

Get in front of tomorrow's news for FREE

Journalism for the curious Australian across politics, business, culture and opinion.


But Van Pelt said the group’s biggest tests were yet to come, starting this Saturday night in Geraldton against defending NBL1 champions Buccaneers, who are unbeaten.

“It wasn’t a pretty one (win) and probably more of a case of grinding it out,” he said.

“Our second half was better than our first defensively, so we showed some improvement throughout the game and you have to credit the other team (because) they’re pretty athletic.

“We did a good job of sticking together — our two Americans (Bell and Parsons) really carried us offensively and Kon stepped to be our X-factor.

“Not only was he guarding their best player, but also hit four threes for us.

“It was a total team effort that led to the final result and we have two wins now.

“But both were against teams towards the bottom of the league (standings) and trying to get a win against the Buccaneers will really test us, as will the Redbacks (on Sunday) who are a genuine threat in their own right.”

This is Van Pelt’s first season as coach of the Giants and will get a true taste this weekend of the travel rigours facing regional teams.

“We travel to Perth on Friday, wake up early on Saturday, take a bus to Geraldton and then play on the same night,” he said.

“Then we wake up on Sunday, drive all the way back to Perth and play that afternoon.

“It’s not ideal, but we know what to expect.

“I think our guys are in the frame of mind — it’s just another challenge for regional teams and we know what we’ve got ourselves into.

“It’s all about making the most of our travel situations.”

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails