We are officially entering the second half of the Sal's NBL season and each week the questions are getting bigger! Here's our Fast Five Questions for R8.
Fast Five - Question 1
Q: Will Mika Vukona get the Giants' final aspirations back on track or is it too late?
A: The Giants are on a 6-game losing streak and right now they need all the help they can get, especially with the unbeaten Saints coming to play them in R8. The talent and experience Vukona brings to the Giants is enormous and can only help the cause, however the run home for the Giants is a hard one and the gate might already be closed on a berth in the Final 4. One thing that would put a pep back in the step of all Giants supporters though would be a win over the Saints. Vukona and his team have nothing to fear and everything to gain, so expect the Giants to come out breathing fire in an attempt to be the first team to take the Saints down this season.
Fast Five - Question 2
Q: Could Tim Quarterman be the wrecking ball that's about to smash down the Final 4 hopes of the Sharks and/or Huskies?
A: The Rangers stud import is in sparkling form right now and comes into R8 fresh off a 48-poimt haul, and that was against the Hawks no less, so his ability to turn it on is unquestionable. This week Quarterman faces the Sharks (Thursday) and Huskies (Sunday), two teams desperate to win and get an edge over each other in the race for the Final 4. Either way you look at it, chances are that Quarterman could prove to be a VERY big thorn in the side for either, or both, teams.
Fast Five - Question 3
Q: Can the Airs make it three wins in a row when they host the Huskies?
A: Firstly, the Huskies will be hoping this doesn't happen. The trip to Taranaki on Friday night is a must-win game for the Huskies, but they are coming up against a team that seemingly has a thirst for upsets right now. After a winless start to the season the Airs sent both Daniel Gomis and Kevin Foster home, the latter was their leading scorer. Since then the Airs were humbled by the Hawks (not the first team to suffer that sort of treatment), but have since beaten both the Rangers and Giants. The victory over Nelson may end up being the final nail in their (Giants) finals chances. Though Taranaki's swift roster changes created a few raised eyebrows at the time, it seems the Airs are now having the last laugh. Can they now make it three in a row? Yes they can, but probably only if Derone Raukawa has overcome another leg injury and can play.
Fast Five - Question 4
Q: Can the Jets break the Tassie Curse?
A: Highly unlikely! Given the Jets played the Rams last week and lost by 41pts, chances are a similar result is waiting for them in their return from Hobart where they came close to winning against the Huskies. While the Jets were, pardon the pun, jetting around, the Rams had a weekend off and will be feeling fully refreshed. There was a lot to like about the depth and team-orientated nature of Canterbury's win last week and you can't help but feel they will race out of the gates against the Jets. Looks like the Tassie Curse may continue to roll on a little longer.
Fast Five - Question 5
Q: Will the Hawks rest players against the Airs?
A: More to the point, will the Hawks play with fire by resting players against the Airs? Chances are the Hawks will suit-up a full-strength team and see how the cards fall during the game. Last week they sat Daniel Kickert for much of their 117-107 win against the Rangers, so managing players within games is an option and likely again here if they build a lead. Now is not the time to mess with a system that is clearly working, so expect every Hawk (unless injured) to be on active duty.