THERE’S much riding on this Saturday’s state league basketball final according to Wagga Heat coach Allan Mullins.
Knowing the team must win to qualify for the semi-finals Mullins doesn’t need any more incentive to guide the Heat to victory.
However, his son, Ben, plays for St George; Allan will also be vying for bragging rights.
It will be a merciless match.
“My loyalty’s to my team,” Allan said.
Equipped with insider’s knowledge Allan has briefed Wagga import Gage Daye on Ben’s weaknesses.
Half a dozen supporters from Mullins family will give their vocal chords a workout, cheering for both teams.
“I think they’ll sit on the fence,” Allan said.
“Mum will want Wagga to win; she’s a Wagga girl.”
Allan’s mum could be in for a treat according to Ben.
Daunted by Wagga’s dominance so far, Ben would have liked to meet them later on in the finals series.
“Wagga’s probably the form side of the competition, to come up against them early probably will be the toughest test we may have,” Ben said.
“We can’t rock up and not be at our best and expect to come out with a ‘w.’”
Ben believes his family ties with the opposition coach will have no bearing on the intensity of the game.
“It’s a final’s game, there’s enough at stake as there is,” Ben said.
The lead up has been less than idyllic for St George having played a double-header last weekend.
“Their legs will be a little bit sore, and they’ve got travel,” Allan said.
Allan watch St George in action on the weekend, and while their two guards, Scott and Luke Davies, were suspended and will return to play against Wagga, the trip certainly helped him plan for the upcoming game.
“If we stick to our normal game plan, we should be well and truly in the contest,” Allan said.
Heat players will keep a keen eye on centre Adam Kuenzle, power forward Andrew Manios, import Demarcus Berry and Luke Davies.
“Berry’s quite a good outside shooter, he didn’t penetrate but he's certainly got a nice shot,” Allan said.
It’s set to be a thriller, with the two highest point scorers in the league, Wagga’s Gage Daye on 595 and St George’s Luke Davies on 433, warm for the match.
“I’ll be relying on Scott Hare to step up to the next level and take on the big guy defensively,” Allan said.
The match takes place at Bolton Park, 6pm on Saturday.
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