Ballarat Miners vice-captain Ash Constable is on the cusp of a big South East Australian Basketball League season finale.
He will firstly celebrate a personal achievement and then set himself for team-first focus in the south conference play-offs.
Constable rounds out the regular season by playing his 100th SEABL game for the Miners against the Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence at the Minerdome on Saturday night.
Originally from Horsham, Constable moved to Ballarat for school and sporting opportunities at the age of 14 in 2007.
He progressed through the Basketball Ballarat and the Basketball Victoria Country junior pathways to be selected in the Australian under-17 squad in 2012.
Constable debuts for the Miners in the SEABL in 2013 and 2014 under head coach David Flint and it was not too long before he caught the eye of NBL scouts.
The led him to joining three seasons with the Cairns Taipans as a development player.
He missed 2015 with the GMHBA Miners before returning as co-captain last season.
Constable said he looked on playing 100 games with his home club as a great accomplishment.
“I come back each year and you can see the club is getting better, stronger and more professional.
“I’m really appreciative of the opportunities Ballarat has provided me to take my basketball to the next level, and also help me to achieve my study goals,” he said.
Miners head Coach Eric Hayes said it was a fantastic achievement for for Constable after coming through the junior ranks.
“Ash has worked extremely hard to develop his game and his body over the years to give himself the best chance to reach his goal to play NBL.
“His training with Cairns for the past three years has really helped him to develop a professional approach to the game and each year he has come back a better player physically and mentally which has been great for our program,” Hayes said.
The Miners are chasing first in the south conference.
While they will start as favourite against CoE, Miners need Dandenong to fall to North West Tasmania to finish on top.
The Miners can also still drop to third though if the Hobart Chargers win both their games.
Meanwhile, Ballarat Skoda Rush’s finals hopes remain alive, but everything will need to fall into place for them to finish fourth.
Rush has won 10 of its past 12 games, including four in a row. For Ballarat to stay in the hunt CofE has to first beat Hobart on Friday night before facing Rush on Saturday night.