Once again finding little consistency in their line-up on Tuesday night, the Pirates battled on to give the Hellfish a run for their money in the first half of their round 24 encounter, trailing by just one point at the end of twenty minutes play.
The Pirates made great strides improving their performance and attitude from last week’s game that saw the team booed from the stadium at full-time by 6,000 angry Pirates fans who see their stars as being role models for their kids.
There were certainly times in this game where the Pirates could have considered themselves hard done by and lashed out on the court but to their credit, they re-focused their aggression or laughed in the face of adversity to keep themselves in the hunt.
Essentially trading blow for blow, the first two quarters showed that the Pirates were slowly adjusting to the team game, moving the ball around to create space for their shooters who confidently capitalised on their opportunities.
Scoring was spread relatively evenly across the Pirates starting squad with nobody rising above 6 points for the game. Applying themselves diligently, Darren Jamieson (4 points, 1 steal, 4 rebounds), Ben Roberts (6 points, 1 rebound) and Daniel Lillicrap (3 points, 3 assists, 2 rebounds) all had outstanding games for the Pirates.
However, the effort the Pirates exerted in the first half could not be replicated in the second as the Hellfish seemed to lift their game a gear and began to pull away from a tired and frustrated Pirates side.
Although not realising his full potential in this game, Julien Hume (11 points, 4 assists, 3 steals) was devastating with his deadly cross-overs and super spin-moves leaving his defenders stunned in his wake. One commentator even went so far as to broadcast that his moves “are extremely pretty!”
Performances from Stefan Szcerbiak (10 points, 1 assist, 1 steal, 2 rebounds), Ben Artuso (5 points, 2 assists, 11 rebonds) and Lucas Cailin (13 points, 1 steal, 3 rebounds) were equally as impressive as the Hellfish came alive in the second half to blitz the Pirates in almost every department, leading in assists 15 to 4, steals 8 to 3 and rebounds 32 to21.
The final score: Pirates 24, Hellfish 46.