Ballarat Rush may be out of the finals race, but the team can still have an influence in its last game of the South East Australian Basketball League season.
Diamond Valley, sitting in seventh, is looking to secure the best finals position possible to determine whether it plays a home or away game.
But Ballarat Skoda Rush coach Eric Hayes said his players were ready to disrupt the Eagles’ top eight plans when the teams meet at Diamond Valley Recreation Centre on Saturday night.
“Let’s have a little bit of an influence on what happens and if they lose, it allows other teams the possibility of getting in,” Hayes said.
“It is a game that means something for them and it certainly means something for us.”
Hayes said captain Kristy Rinaldi had spoken with her teammates about making their final outing together a positive one.
“It’s certainly a thought that was echoed within the group,” he said.
“We just want to make sure that we come out and play an assertive brand of basketball, and really go out and compete and contest on both ends of the floor.
“When opportunities are there on offence, have a strong go – just be willing to be a little bit more physical if that’s what is required.”
Diamond Valley will most likely be without two of their star players, Ezi Magbegor, who is in China with the Australian Opals for the four-nation tournament, and Lauren Scherf, who has injured her shoulder.
“It takes away their two biggest players,” Hayes said.
“But, in saying that, the rest of the girls are very talented and hard working and some of those girls have stepped up.”
Former Ballarat player Abigail Wehrung has been one to make an impact, collecting 21 points and shooting six from nine attempts from the three-point line against Launceston last week.
“When you’re missing a couple of players then other players that have been in the shadows have an opportunity to step up and take the spotlight,” Hayes said.
“And I think a few of them would certainly be relishing having that opportunity.”