THE Albury-Wodonga Bandits sank further into the mire at the weekend, soundly thrashed on the road by both Nunawading and Dandenong and all but eliminated from SEABL playoff contention.
Sitting second-bottom in the East conference and five games behind the fourth-placed Ballarat Miners, the 3-12 Bandits would need a major, if not miraculous, form reversal to see post-season action.
Once again, inconsistent play cost the Bandits dearly in both games, with a poor second quarter the difference in a 94-68 defeat to the Spectres on Saturday night.
It was even worse against the Rangers yesterday as the hosts took full advantage of dominant second and fourth periods to record a 111-77 smacking at Dandenong Stadium.
Bandits skipper Michael Watson admitted Dandenong showed the Border club exactly how far it needed to improve just to be competitive.
“They went into playoff basketball mode and we didn’t and couldn’t go with them,” Watson said.
“We got put completely out of our stuff and they come at you hard.
“For mine they’re the best team we have played.
“We are at rock bottom after three tough games in a row.
“We just have individuals and Dandy showed us how a team operates — they were impressive.”
The Rangers were led — as ever — by the import combination of Daequon Montreal (27 points) and Tony Lewis (19) as they continued their winning streak over the Bandits since the 2012 championship game.
Deuce Briscoe’s 24 points and new import Lamar Mallory’s 22 points paced the Bandits, but there was precious little offensive help to be seen.
Watson acknowledged the Bandits desperately needed to find some cohesion before this weekend’s road trip to Sandringham.
“This can go one of two ways,” Watson said.
“We stick together, grind it out and get around each other on and off the court, make it fun again.
“Or we can get angry and fight with each other and continue to be individuals and only look out for ourselves.
“We won’t win too many more games if we do that, though.”