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The Roller Hawks have made short work of the Sydney Metro Blues over the weekend, delivering three comprehensive wins to remain unbeaten in the 2018 NWBL season.

Down on fire power, the Metro Blues were forced to field an extremely inexperienced line up that was never going to be able to match it with the defending champions. Sydney coach Troy Sachs opting to use the series as a learning experience for his novice squad as many of them prepare for the under 18s national championships later this month.

The three games gave the Roller Hawks a chance to share valuable minutes right across the team with Brad Fisher scoring a career high 22 points on Saturday night.

Fisher’s extra game time increased partially due to a drop in classification. Each player gets a points allocation depending on the level of their disability. A team cannot have 5 players on the court whose combined total exceeds more than 14 points.

Since starting wheelchair basketball Fisher has been classified as a 3.5 but a review during Round 1 saw that classification drop.

“I met with the head classifier, went through a couple of tests with my hand and arm and he watched me throughout the whole weekend and then came up to me afterwards and said yeah, ‘You’re going to be a two-half instead of a three-half’ just because of my movement in my right arm has deteriorated since when I first started.”

The change means Fisher is no longer stuck behind the likes of Paralympians Brett Stibners and Michael Auprince.

“It was really good to get an opportunity to play a lot more minutes now that I’ve dropped a classification.”

“We don’t need a one pointer out there which is really good in national league and if we get a bit of time together, we can make it work really well.”

The spread of minutes did nothing to hurt the output of leading high pointers Brett Stibners and Shawn Russell who played tit-for-tat on the scorers sheet throughout the weekend.

Stibners scored a triple double in all three games and averaged 31.7 points, 13 rebounds and 12.3 assists. Russell lead the scoring on Friday and Sunday while averaging 33 points and 10.7 rebounds per game across the weekend.

Luke Pople scored a rare triple double in Sunday’s game with 19 points, 11 assists and 11 steals.  

“The results are how we expected them. We went into the weekend hoping we’d improve in our own game and get a bit more of an understanding of who can fit where when we have combinations on the court and I think we achieved that,” said Roller Hawks captain Brett Stibners.

The Roller Hawks next round is at the Snakepit, Beaton Park on 4-6th May against Kilsyth.


Friday April 6: ROLLER HAWKS 103 def SYDNEY METRO BLUES 30

Saturday April 7: ROLLER HAWKS 114 def SYDNEY METRO BLUES 32