Can Rockets keep the finals dream alive against Capitals?
BASKETBALL: After an upset 90-79 quarter-final win last weekend against the Cairns Marlins, the Rockhampton Rockets will be looking to keep up the momentum of five straight road wins to knock off their toughest foe yet.
The top-seeded Brisbane Capitals will host the fifth-seeded Rockhampton side at home for a semi-final showdown.
The last time the two sides met was less than a month ago in round 14 and the Rockets were unable to hold off the capitals at home, going down by 11 points.
Rockets coach Neal Tweedy said keeping up the momentum would be key but the team was well-aware they would be facing the league's biggest threat.
"We are feeling confident that we're playing well at the right time at the end of the season, when you need to be playing well,” Tweedy said.
"But we're very wary that we're about to face the best team in the league who have only lost one game this year.”
Tweedy said takeaways from the previous bout with the Capitals at home, still fresh in the players' minds, would apply to this weekend's game.
"We lost on our home floor by 11 but no doubt we've made some changes,” he said.
"We know that we had to make changes but whether or not Brisbane had to? ... I'm not sure.
"We will throw out that game plan and throw in a new one.”
Tweedy identified the Captials' backcourt game as one of its strengths and likely the biggest hurdle for the Rockets.
"It all starts with the guards , and containing those guards,” he said.
The Capitals' guards Tweedy spoke of are Jason Cadee, the season's third highest average points scorer, and US college import Aaron Anderson.
"We need to restrict those two scoring, and if we can do that, it will get us a long way towards stopping (the Capital's) engine,” Tweedy said.
Despite the formidability of the opponents they face on Saturday night, Tweedy said there was a confident mood in the Rockets' camp, driven by the momentum fuelled by consecutive away wins.
"It's a hard place to go and win in Cairns so we're going to carry a lot of confidence into this game,” he said.
"But we are going to have to be at our best.”
Tweedy said a key match-up to watch would be the the clash of Rockets guard and season assists leader Shaun Bruce against Cadee.
He was also hoping AJ Ogilvy and Sean O'Mara would be be able to shut down Capitals centre Will Magnay in the paint.
The Rockets take on the Capitals at Auchenflower Stadium, Saturday 7pm.