Braves under the pump

WHEN you’ve lost three matches on the trot and are devoid of confidence, the last thing you want is to face the unbeaten, top of the table club.

Josh Wilcher

Josh Wilcher

That’s the daunting task standing in front of Ben Harvey and the Bendigo Braves on Saturday night when they host North West Tasmania Thunder at Bendigo Stadium.

The Braves have lost four of their past five games to slip to a 3-4 record and sixth place on the South East Australia Basketball League south conference ladder.

The Thunder have dominated the competition, winning six-straight matches by an average margin of more than 20 points.

The Thunder have five players who average double-figures in scoring, led by imports Robert Jenkins 26.8 and Tyrone Lee 19.2.

They also have three other players who average more than eight points per game.

“It’s going to be very tough,’’ Harvey said.

“The Thunder are coached very well, they’re confident and they’re playing as a team.

“Hopefully, this weekend we can upset them. We’ve trained well all week and we’re ready to go.”

The Braves cause has been helped by the arrival of recruit Josh Wilcher.

The talented guard has returned from England and will play his first game for the Braves on Saturday night.

Wilcher, who will start on the bench against the Thunder, averaged 16.4 points and 5.5 assists per game for the Sandringham Sabres in the SEABL last year.

Meanwhile, the Bendigo Lady Braves host Launceston on Saturday.

After thrashing Geelong last week, the Lady Braves (4-2) will start hot favourite to topple Launceston (2-4).

Guard Chantella Perera is in sensational form, averaging 20.7 points per game.

The Lady Braves tip-off at 6pm, with the Braves to follow at 8pm.

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