The Arena to host Supercats homecoming
BEING forced to play in front of no spectators at the end of the 2021 season left a sour taste in the mouth of both Geelong Supercats NBL1 sides, but both squads are itching to get back out there in front of their home fans.
This Saturday night against Ringwood Hawks will mark the home opener for the Supercats at The Geelong Arena, kicking off the city’s 2022 NBL1 campaign.
“Given the way last season fizzled out and the lack of closure that came with it, we’re really looking forward to getting back into The Arena and playing in front of our home fans,” Supercats women’s head coach Matthew Paton said.
Both teams return home with winning records after claiming the double-win against regional rivals Ballarat Miners in Round 1.
Geelong’s women roster is preparing to make big moves towards the later stages of the season, spearheaded by Australian Opal Sara Blicavs, who put on a strong showing last weekend with 24 points, 10 rebounds and two steals.
“We’re a very different look team compared to last year’s, albeit with a lot of returning players,” Paton said.
“Our depth has certainly increased with a number of new faces on the bench which is something we have improved upon since last season.
“Our season aspirations will certainly be to win the whole thing given every time we step out onto the floor we aim to win.
“My biggest challenge as coach this season will be to make sure that we have all the different chess pieces on the right parts of the board.”
Blicavs will be joined by Southside Flyers teammates Aimie Rocci and Taylah Simmons in the core unit.
Supercats’ aspirations for 2022 are just as tall on the men’s side according to head coach Justin Schueller, who is set to field one of the league’s most imposing line-ups across the NBL South conference.
“I’ve spoken to the group about our fans not having had the luxury of watching us on a consistent basis over the last couple of years and we’re ready to give it to them,” Schueller said.
“We want to play a style of basketball that our fans will get great enjoyment out of.
“We will be sharing the ball and defending the right way, and most importantly we hope to do it in front of a sell-out crowd every week.”
The Supercats men have an abundance of talent led by former NBL1 league MVP DeMarcus Gatlin, former Cairns Taipans forward George Blagojevic and former club junior Matthew Johns.
Isaac Turner and Gabe Hadley will assist Gatlin in his backcourt duties meanwhile Owen Odigie will provide the defensive anchor at the other end.
To witness the Supercats homecoming this Saturday against Ringwood, head to tickets.geelongaustralia.com.au/event/geelong-supercats-2022-general-admission.