Braves set for double header
WHEN the Bellinger Braves hit the court tonight it will mark the start of a new chapter for basketball on the Coffs Coast.
It is the first time the club has fielded a team in the Waratah State League with plenty set to go on the line.
Adding to the intrigue is the fact the Braves will be the region's only representative in the competition after last season's champions the Coffs Harbour Suns failed to nominate a team.
Bellinger coach Jay Jones was confident ahead of the first game of his side's double header against Port Macquarie tonight.
"Pre-season has been really impressive and the boys are starting to build the chemistry I have been looking for," Jones said.
"We have been looking to play a pro style offence and really build on our strengths.
"Our team is balanced and the game plan will give everyone the space to do what they do best."
Standing in the way will be a Port Macquarie team fresh off a strong first round result against the Newcastle Hunters.
"The first round of the season is always a bit of a mystery," Jones said.
"The players are all keen to get on the court that it doesn't matter we have to start the season on the road."
"I saw Port managed to win their first game scoring only 60 points. I'm confident my players can score that in a half."
The game will also be the first competitive match for the Braves' American imports Ervin Herron and Damien Perkins.
"Damien and Ervin are both anxious to play," Jones said.
"They have been in Australia for a while now and have finally got their legs.
"Their experience will come in handy for the younger players."
No matter the result of tonight and tomorrow's games, the braves head coach will be keeping a close eye on his players' performance.
"All season I will be keeping the stats so we can go back to them to see where a player is doing well or not so well."
"We will be out for a win but just as important will be a strong performance."