THEY ARE back. Finally.
Ballarat Miners have been tearing apart the South East Australian Basketball League.
Finally Miners fans can see what all the hype has been about on against Sandringham on Sunday.
Only one of the GMHBA Miners' past seven games have been home at the MARS Minerdome.
They have only dropped the one game in eight - it came at the end of their third double-header for the month - going from one win and four losses to a healthy eight and five and surging into the east conference top four.
Miners coach David Flint and star Roy Booker earned SEABL coach and player of the month honours in a rare team double but the Miners have made clear on the floor, their form is all about a full-team effort.
This all adds to what is shaping as a massive showdown against east conference heavyweight Geelong at the Minerdome next week in a clash that traditionally guarantees a blockbuster, regardless.
First, they need to get the job done on Sunday against an unpredictable Sandringham.
The Sabres will debut recruit Junior Hairston, an experienced international player from North Carolina in the United States, who is set to step out first on Saturday night against Kilsyth before travelling to Ballarat.
Hairston is a quick replacement for the Sabres leading scorer Mike Moore, under what Sabres coach Steve Hoare said was an imbalanced line up.
Sabre Rayshawn Goins has been the team's most consistent player, averaging 22 points and 13 rebounds the past month.
For the Miners, Booker chalked up three 40-point games, averaging 32.1 points and 8.3 assists in May.
Ken Horton is leading the SEABL rebounds with a 12.4 average, and has been dangerous in offence averaging 20.1 points per game.
With recruit Nathan Sobey more than settled into a strong Miners' starting five, the Sabres are likely to struggle to contain them.
And the Miners are hoping for a big homecoming.