Rockets? objective: Blast Marlins out of the water

By RACHAEL BORICH

THE CAIRNS Marlins will court a full-strength team to reel in their QABL Sunstate finals starting on Friday.

It is not the news the Rockhampton Stadium Nightclub Rockets men's basketball team needed to hear heading into the northern region's best-of-three finals series.

Cairns Taipans NBL player Gary Boodnikoff is expected to play after sitting out last weekend's game against Townsville with a hip injury while fellow Taipans squad member Kane Oakley also appears to have beaten a niggling injury after training strongly yesterday.

Other Marlins team members already in NBL pre-season training for the Taipans are Aaron Grabau, Deba George and Dwayne Vale while Tim Berendorff is busy preparing to join the New Zealand Breakers NBL team.

Marlins coach Mark Beecroft has a wealth of talent at his disposal, but it is his team's younger members that have really impressed the coach this season.

"It's good (having NBL players) doing into finals, but the last couple of weeks we've relied on our bench to get the job done and your younger guys have really come to play,'' Beecroft said.

Cairns are 2-0 against the Rockets this year and Beecroft expects the Rockets to miss the inside presence of US import Gyasi Cline-Heard, however, he was impressed with the Rockets' 2-1 result on their recent Brisbane road trip ? without Cline-Heard.



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