Key match for basketball side

Penrith in action in the WCL. Photo: Noel Rowsell
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The Penrith Panthers men’s basketball team have vowed to turn their season around despite a sluggish start that’s seen them with only two wins after five games.

Last week the Panthers were beaten convincingly 95-81 by the competition’s leading team, Norths Bears, after starting the game well off the pace and falling behind 20 points at the first quarter.

“Having to battle back 20 points down in the first was always going to make it tough for us,” Penrith assistant coach, Adam Peterson said.

“We ended up making some adjustments on the run and their lead was as high as 30 at one point. But we didn’t stop chasing and to the boys’ credit we finished the game down just 14.”

With some key personnel missing through injury and illness, Penrith’s game plan fell on the shoulders of two of their younger players in Louis Brandt and Nic Pozoglou. Both players lead the scoring for Penrith last weekend with Brandt shooting 29 points and Pozoglou making 24 including four from beyond the arc.

“Louis is coming off a season with the Sydney Kings and is in great form while Nic is an extremely talented player for his age,” Peterson said.

“Ideally we’d prefer a larger spread of scoring among our team but we are also good at identifying the mismatches and who has the ‘hot hand’, so we’ll have weeks where two players will score more than others.”

Peterson believes this Saturday’s return to Penrith Sports Stadium to take on the bottom-placed Illawarra Hawks is a statement game in determining where his side is headed this season.

The Hawks are yet to win a game all year but have come awfully close in recent weeks, including a three point loss to Hornsby last week.

“Any team in this league can find form at any time but I still feel we are a top two team in the competition, so all other teams should be aware,” Peterson declared.

“We will be looking to make a statement this weekend and give our home fans something to cheer about.”

The Panthers take on the Hawks this Saturday at Penrith Sports Stadium.

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