Heat face tough men­tal or­deal

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - TRENT SLATTER trent. slatter@ news. com. au

TOWNSVILLE Heat coach Rod­ney An­der­son be­lieves this week­end’s bru­tal south­east Queens­land triple- header will test his side’s men­tal tough­ness as much as their phys­i­cal en­durance.

The re­wards could be great with top spot on the QBL lad­der still within reach, but they face three tough matches to round out the reg­u­lar sea­son.

It all starts with the USC Rip City tonight be­fore tak­ing on the Sun­shine Coast Phoenix to­mor­row night and fi­nally the Bris­bane Cap­i­tals on Sun­day af­ter­noon in a match that was resched­uled from last month due to de­layed flights.

The Heat will have a mas­sive work­load with three games in less than 48 hours and An­der­son has picked the brains of coaches from other Townsville sport­ing teams and even Perth Wild­cats men­tor Trevor Glee­son to see how to best man­age his play­ers.

He joked that the team’s masseuse could be their MVP af­ter this week­end but the coach said en­sur­ing the Heat were men­tally pre­pared would be cru­cial.

“We’ve talked about it al­ready be­cause we con­trol our own des­tiny and we need to make sure men­tally we’re pre­pared for each game,” An­der­son said.

“The masseuse is a big thing t to get our bod­ies ready, but you don’t get a lot of time to think about a scout for the se­cond two games so men­tally pre­par­ing and re­mem­ber­ing the game plan is up to the guys.

“I know it’s not a long way to go to Bris­bane.

“But for us three games in three days could mean top spot so we’ve tried to put as much into this week­end as we could.

“We’ve won nine of our last 10 games so we’re on a pretty good roll al­ready, but we’ve just got to keep on win­ning.

“It sounds sim­ple, but go­ing to be dif­fi­cult to do.”

Townsville vet­eran Pe­ter Craw­ford ( pic­tured) was con­fi­dent they have the squad to win all three games – with a full ros­ter of 12 play­ers on deck – but he said the Heat had to stick to what works for them.

“It comes down to your struc­tures and how good you are at ex­e­cut­ing.

“I think we’ve got all the pieces there so we might have to rely on that a lit­tle bit rather it’s than ath­leti­cism and speed,” Craw­ford said. “It might be a case of us try­ing not to get caught up in their style and play­ing our own style. ”

Mean­while, the Townsville Flames will have their depth tested with just nine play­ers avail­able for tonight’s clash with USC Rip City.

They’ll have a full com­ple­ment of 10 play­ers back on court to­mor­row, but Flames vet­eran Rachael McCully ex­pected the team’s bench to play an im­por­tant role.

“We need to make sure that our ro­ta­tions are on point.

“You don’t want any­one play­ing 40 min­utes each game be­cause by the back end of that they’re go­ing to strug­gle,” McCully said.

“Our bench have been fantastic this year.

“The in­ten­sity that they bring ev­ery time is re­ally good and they re­ally showed that last week­end.

“We’re hop­ing that they can bring that for the next three games.”

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