Geelong Supercats are still positive about the future despite losing two star players and their tilt at the Australian Basketball Australian grand final in the past week, according to coach Mark Leader.
The reigning South East Australia Basketball League champion’s hopes of securing back-to-back ABA titles were squashed last Saturday in a 123-91 loss to hot favourite Cairns Marlins.
Further blows for the Supercats came at the hands of star forwards Dean Brebner and Nathan Herbert who announced they had signed on to play for NBL teams Cairns Taipans and South Dragons respectively.
However, Leader said the team was still looking strong for next year when the Supercats would launch a comeback bid for the ABA title.
“Last weekend we didn’t play our best, probably our worst all year,” Leader admitted.
“But in saying that we also had a 25-win five-loss season, which in basketball terms is something to be very proud of.”
Leader said his short-term focus was on keeping the rest of the team together.
“We have the next six weeks off and from there our priority will be to try and maintain the players we have now,” he said.
“We will likely re-sign Brebner and Herbert who will still be able to play with us depending on the minutes they play for their NBL sides.
“We’re going to try to come back and win it all again. We certainly have the talent – it’s just a matter of putting it all together.”
Leader said he was pleased to see top Supercats like Brebner and Herbert climbing the basketball career ladder.
“The Supercats see it as our responsibility to offer a pathway to the NBL and we’re very pleased when it happens to our players,” he said.
“They have worked extremely hard and deserve shots at the NBL.”
Brebner said he was excited about taking his career a step further up north.
“I’m really looking forward to continuing my NBL career in Cairns. There’s a great program in place and I met some great people up there when I trialed a few weeks ago,” Brebner said.
Herbert was also thrilled about his selection for a team in the higher division.
“I’ve really enjoyed training with the Dragons for the past month,” he said.
“I have no doubt it has improved my game and I want to make the most of the opportunity the development position will provide.”