BALLARAT Miners coach Guy Molloy is pleased with the extra responsibility shown by all players in his absence.
Molloy arrived back Wednesday from national duties in China, where he coached the Australian under-17 boys the past fortnight.
He was back at Miners training Thursday, preparing his players for a looming South East Australian Basketball League double-header.
The Ballarat Holden Miners host Mt Gambier tonight and travel to Sandringham tomorrow.
“I always wanted to try and set this year up with a fair bit of independence among the playing group,” Molloy said.
“The details of my absence were known far in advance, so it was no surprise what was coming.
“(Acting coach Grant Spencer) and the players fulfilled their end of the bargain and did their job...the team took accountability and didn’t put pressure on Grant to find all the solutions.”
Breaks in scheduling allowed Molloy to follow the Miners’ live stats in China and he has been in close contact with Spencer between matches.
Molloy said it was a good test case for the Miners for when he is away for the FIBA world under-17 championships in a month’s time.
The team debriefed on Thursday, has regrouped and is ready for an important match against Mt Gambier tonight at the Minerdome.
“We probably haven’t talked about (the double-header) a whole lot yet – we’ve been focused on our game,” Molloy said. “Mt Gambier is an important game to try and win.”
The Pioneers had a 26-point win against Canberra last week with import Brandon Brown scoring 16 points and making five assists.
Their defence was frugal.
The Miners pulled together a strong full-team performance to defeat Brisbane last week and are hungry to get more wins on the board.
Meanwhile, Molloy said a demanding trip to China in a four-nations tour was successful.