THE ADDITION of former AFL player Craig Moller to the Ballarat Miners lineup was not enough to see them over the line in their encounter with North West Tasmania on Saturday night, with the Miners going down by three points 95-92 for the second straight week.
The Miners led at the first two changes of their South East Australian Basketball League contest before being outscored by eight points in the third to enter the final passage six points behind.
The Thunder again shot out at the start of the final quarter before being clawed back by the visitors, but the effort proved to be too little too late as the home site took the points.
Miners coach Eric Hayes said his chargers were again let down by poor defensive pressure.
“We let them get a run on and gave them too many opportunities to score easy buckets,” Hayes said.
“We had really good moments in all aspects, played some good defence and run offense and some individual brilliance, but it can’t be moments on defence, it has to be consistent and something we can depend on.”
It can’t be moments on defence, it has to be consistent and something we can depend on.- Eric Hayes - Miners coach
Former Fremantle big man Moller wasted no time making an impact for his temporary side, racking up 10 rebounds and scoring five points in just 16 minutes of game time. The 203cm former Sydney Kings player arrived in Tasmania without training with the Miners.
Hayes said “there’s a lot of upside to him and i think he will be a pretty handy player for us over the next few weeks”.
Hayes was also full of praise for youngster Ross Weightman, who took to the court for the first time over the weekend after numerous games on the senior bench.
While Weightman only saw two minutes of court time, he managed to get on the board and record a rebound in that time.
“(Weightman) kind of epitomises what you want in a basketballer,” Hayes said.
“When he gets his opportunity he gives everything for the group...I definitely see him being in our ground for next week.”
The Miners’ next assignment will be against Brisbane at the Minerdome on Sunday afternoon.
The visitors will play back-to-back matches across the weekend, facing the Sandringham Sabres at Sandringham Basketball Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
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