Hosting the Blues on Saturday night, the CoE entered the clash only a game behind them on the ladder with the chance to move into the top eight if successful.

They started well with a 27-20 opening term where Hyunjung Lee scored ten of his 14 points and Josh Bannan (a team-high 17 points) added six.

Frankston responded with a devastating 33-12 second term to claim the ascendancy though and they went on to prevail 100-78, utilising a +21 advantage in points off turnovers.

The CoE still had a range of contributors with 11 players hitting the scoreboard including Tianrong Li who had eight points off the bench while at the defensive end, Banjo Talbot and Princepal Singh recorded two blocks each.

The women experienced a tighter contest in their meeting with Frankston as a late charge courtesy of a 21-13 final quarter saw them fall 70-82.

Page Price had five points in the dying moments to notch 11 for the game while Kelsey Rees tallied nine points, six rebounds, two assists and a block.

“”At this point in the season it was disappointing for us to struggle with concentration, resolve and intensity,” said head coach Kristen Veal.

“In the fourth quarter we got back to playing up-tempo, aggressive, team basketball.

“When we play this way we compete well with every team in the league but we went away from that in the second and third quarters. We can’t expect to overrun teams after giving them a 20-point lead.

Pacing the team offensively, Jade Melbourne had 17 points and Gemma Potter recorded 14 points with six rebounds.

“Gemma is a high impact player on both ends of the court,” said Veal. ‘Her numbers in 18 minutes were very good and we hope this builds confidence as she now looks forward to national team duties at the FIBA Under-19 World Cup.

“It was also Olivia Pollerd’s first game back since the Under-18 Championships and she has been diligent and positive with her rehab which allowed her to suit up on Saturday night.

‘We were impressed with her contributions for her first game back and hope it sets her up leading in to the Under-17’s camp this weekend.”

The CoE are back on court in Round 11, visiting the Melbourne Tigers on Saturday night and Ringwood Hawks on Sunday as they begin a run of five consecutive road games to finish the regular season.

“Playing on the road is always a welcomed experience, it teaches the girls about self-management, routine, adaptability and working together,” said Veal.

“Six athletes will be attending the Under-17’s national camp which opens up an exciting opportunity to bring in a number of young athletes from around the country to play against Melbourne and Ringwood.”

The Centre of Excellence men’s and women’s teams have been unable to get past the Frankston Blues in their final home game of the 2019 NBL1 season, dropping their solitary contests for Round 10.

Basketball Australia

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