ALBURY-WODONGA BANDITS: Where’s the consistency?

CONSISTENT four-quarter performances continued to elude the Albury-Wodonga Bandits as their SEABL playoff hopes took another battering at the weekend.

The Border club gave the Ballarat Miners all they could handle on Saturday night, battling back from a 17-point fourth-quarter deficit in a valiant 101-98 overtime defeat at the Minerdome.

But any confidence gained from that performance evaporated yesterday as the Bandits crashed to a 94-63 hammering at the hands of a white-hot Kilsyth Cobras.

The double defeat stretched Albury-Wodonga’s losing streak to six games, leaving the Border outfit with a 1-6 record and in the East conference cellar.

Bandits coach Brad Chalmers said he was encouraged by patches of play throughout the weekend but admitted the inconsistency was starting to frustrate everyone.

“There’s still some hope, there is some light in the tunnel,” Chalmers said.

“It’s just that the tunnel got a bit deeper this weekend.

“It is frustrating for all of us, we just have to play together and try to work our way through it.

“The biggest thing for us is it would be different if we were only losing by five or six points.

“But when you’re constantly looking at multiple quarters of double-digit deficits, the lack of consistency is frustrating.

“No doubt for us it’s a mental thing now and if we can’t address it, it will continue to happen.”

After a week when their desire was openly questioned, the Bandits’ star players came to the fore against Ballarat, led by Jamar Briscoe’s 32 points.

Alex Opacic also stepped up, notching a season-high 29 points, including a three-pointer with three seconds left to force the overtime period.

Centre Momo Ntumba (20 points) and forward Alex Bogart-King (12 points) provided plenty of offensive help in the absence of Nick Payne (groin).

But there was precious little to like about yesterday’s display against the Snakes, who raced to a 40-23 quarter-time lead and were never headed at the Kilsyth Sports Centre.

Bogart-King ensured he could hold his head high with 20 points and 11 rebounds in his best performance to date.

Briscoe added 18 but Opacic (9) and Ntumba (2) were again well-held.

“To go from some positive things in the Ballarat game to today (Kilsyth) was a regression,” Chalmers said.

“Kilsyth came out and went whack, whack, whack and we didn’t make any adjustments.

“They played very well, they were aggressive and we were tired and flat and had no emotional energy.

“We’re just not sharing the ball, not trusting each other.”

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