ECHUCA’S Pirates basketball teams will be returning to the court this Sunday.
With just three games remaining for both teams, the sides will be looking to make a late impression on the competition, while building confidence for next season.
The senior Pirates side has won just one game this season.
However, coach Leo Tenace believes the team has the ability to claim a number of wins in the remainder of the season.
‘‘I think what we have shown throughout the year is that we have the ability to outplay teams if we put our best performances on the court,’’ Tenace said.
‘‘The team has shown moments of their quality this season, so when it plays its best for the full game I think it has the ability to be a real quality side.
‘‘So, hopefully in the final weeks of the season we are able to put forward some full-game performances and walk away from the season with a couple of wins. It’s that kind of form that you can walk away from the season with and think that you’re on the right track.’’
The Pirates will face Wallan at Echuca Stadium this Sunday.
The Panthers had a big win against the Pirates in round five, walking away 80-39 winners in Wallan.
However, Tenace believes his side are a real chance to win.
‘‘I think when you take our improvements across the season into account, take that with the road element, I think we have a real chance to get the victory here,’’ Tenace said.
‘‘A win over that kind of side can really spark the team, so a victory here will probably get us on the right track towards a strong closing to the season.’’
Much like with the senior Pirates, Lady Pirates coach Simon Eishold is looking for a late season spark.
‘‘We have nothing to lose from here,’’ Eishold said.
‘‘I think what we aim for at this point in the season is just to get that one win. A victory at this point in the season makes a huge difference to how we go next year, even if it doesn’t effect how you are this year.
‘‘We know that we will probably be pretty scratchy considering how it’s been since we returned from the break, but we will go and try to work those kinks out of our game.’’
Wallan was the victor in round five, knocking off the Pirates by 30 points.
‘‘I think in that game the big issue for us was our foul trouble,’’ Eishold said.
‘‘Playing in a one court building against a hostile opposition crowd, we probably let it into our heads a bit too much and made some foul mistakes.
‘‘If we could have held back there, we probably could have made a bigger impact.
‘‘Heading into this game, it’s a different court and a different environment, so hopefully that can have a mental edge for us and we will be in with a real shot of taking away the victory.’’
Action begins at Echuca Stadium this Sunday from midday.