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Heat Excited About Tough Road Trip

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Heat Excited About Tough Road Trip

The Appliance Shed Harbour Heat head away on a road trip that most teams consider the toughest prospect in the NZ Community Trust Basketball League but for Tony Webster's side it is a perfect way to lead into the post season.

On the eve of back to back games in Nelson and Wellington the Heat know they will finish fifth in the regular season regardless of results, all that is undecided is who and where they will play in the quarter final next Wednesday.

It could yet be a return trip to Wellington to play the Saints if the Heat can cause the upset on Saturday with the Cougars favoured to beat the Stars in their final game.

But Coach Webster is not concerned with that for now.

"Obviously we would have liked a home quarter final but that is gone now, we know we will travel and in that regard this weekend couldn't have come at a better time to best prepare the team.

"Nelson and Wellington are genuine title contenders this year and both enjoy great home support. It is up to our players now to rise to the occasion and feel comfortable in what will be white hot atmosphere favouring the home teams. I couldn't ask for better preparation for an away quarter final so in that sense the draw suits us perfectly."

If the Heat is to enjoy the trip and take some confidence into their quarter final next week, they will have to shut down the league's most dangerous offensive threat in the Saints Mike Evefberha on Saturday night, and before that veteran three point shooter Phill Jones for the Giants on Friday.

But of most concern to Webster will be addressing his own side's offensive accuracy. Last weekend's thriller against the table topping Pistons was lost on the back of a 37% shooting accuracy statistic that must improve if the Heat is to go any further this season.

Round 14 begins tonight as the Waikato Pistons host the Youthtown Auckland Stars in Te Awamutu, tip off 7.30pm. With the top six found for the play-offs, positions one and two, and three and four could change this weekend with the following scenarios possible.

If Pistons beat Stars on Thursday - Pistons will finish 1st and Giants 2nd.

If Pistons lose to Stars and Giants beat Heat on Friday night - Giants will finish 1st and Pistons 2nd

If Saints beat Heat on Saturday night - Saints will finish 3rd.

If Saints lose to Heat and Cougars beat Stars on Friday night - Cougars will finish 3rd and Saints 4th.

The schedule for the play-offs will be as follows, all live on Sky Sport 3.

Play-off Rundown

Quarterfinals

Tuesday, June 16

Game One - 3rd v 6th (Saints/Cougars v Hawks)

Wednesday, June 17

Game Two - 4th v 5th (Cougars/Saints v Heat)

Semifinals

Thursday, June 18

Winner of Game One v Second Place (Giants/Pistons)

Friday, June 19 Winner of Game Two v First Place (Pistons/Giants)

Final Series

Tuesday, June 23

TBC - Venue to the lowest qualifier from the regular season

Thursday, June 25

TBC - Venue to the highest qualifier from the regular season

Friday, June 26 (if required)

TBC - Venue to the highest qualifier from the regular season

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