Con­tract could be cut short

Townsville Bulletin - - Basketball - By KATE JACKA

TOWNSVILLEBas­ket­ball man­ager Mark McGre­gor has not ruled out cut­ting coach David Her­bert’s con­tract short if the Fire’s dis­ap­point­ing 2006/07 Women’s Na­tional Bas­ket­ball League sea­son con­tin­ued.

Her­bert, Townsville’s foun­da­tion coach, was re­signed un­til the end of the 2007/08 sea­son in Fe­bru­ary.

While McGre­gor wouldn’t elim­i­nate the pos­si­bil­ity, he said halv­ing Her­bert’s two-year deal had not been brought up.

‘‘At this stage there has been no move­ment ei­ther way,’’ he said.

‘‘Ob­vi­ously we ex­pected to be do­ing a lit­tle bet­ter at this stage.

‘‘It’s been dis­ap­poit­ning.’’

McGre­gor said, like player and staff con­tracts, Her­bert’s would be eval­u­ated at sea­son’s end.

Townsville’s premiership stocks soared when the club landed the league’s most sought af­ter sig­na­ture, Renae Camino, in April.

Camino was step­ping into a ros­ter al­most un­changed since the club won eight of their last nine to fin­ish the 2005/06 sea­son.

Ri­vals clubs tipped the Fire as cham­pi­onship favourites in the pre­sea­son and Her­bert was con­fi­dent he had built a team wh­cih could go all the way.

Now, with five rounds re­main­ing, a fi­nals berth is a long shot with the Fire in sixth place with a 7-8 win­loss record.

McGre­gor, who has re­cently re­turned from court an­nounc­ing du­ties at the Asian Games, said he had not given up hope of a last-ditch run at the fi­nals.

‘‘I’ve just got back from over­seas and all I’ve seen is the re­sults to date,’’ he said.

‘‘They haven’t been blowout re­sults, we haven’t been los­ing by big mar­gins.

‘‘Luck has played a part as well.

‘‘At the mo­ment, we have to fo­cus on this week and then the next five games.

‘‘Let’s face it, within four weeks the team and Her­bie could be the big­gest he­roes in Townsville.’’

Townsville meet the Aus­tralian In­si­tute of Sport tonight in a game they should win de­spite the ab­sence of up to five play­ers.

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