EXCITED: Newly-appointed Power assistant coach and player Chris Tucker said early and late home games can set up the season.
EXCITED: Newly-appointed Power assistant coach and player Chris Tucker said early and late home games can set up the season. Nick Kossatch GLA160217 CHRIS TU

Home sweet home start

BASKETBALL: Gladstone Port City Power's Queensland Basketball League teams will feature in two double-header away weekends and a round 11 triple-header away weekend.

And it's a draw which excites men's assistant coach and player Chris Tucker.

"The season could be set up early and (I'm) very excited for it to start at home because usually we start of with an away game," Tucker said.

The Gladstone men's team are predicted to be one of the big improvers, and despite the losses of imports Marvin Williams (US), Tevin Jackson (Cairns Taipans) and Jake Allen, the signatures of rebounding machine Willie Shackleford and big man Nathaniel Musters will be a big boost.

Gladstone Power open their season on Saturday, April 29 with a blockbuster at home against Mackay at 6pm (women) followed by the men at 8pm.

"I am pretty happy with the draw especially the fact that we start and end with home games," Power coach Blair Smith said.

Round one also holds special significance and is a great opportunity for fans to pack the stands at Kev Broome Stadium.

"It means the first game of the season we can really honour Troy Robinson as he breaks the men's team record for games played," Smith said.

The Power have home games against Sunshine Coast and Townsville in rounds three and five, and a round four bye.

INSET: Emerging Power women's star Kiah Giunea 18.
INSET: Emerging Power women's star Kiah Giunea 18. Nick Kossatch GLA160217KIAHGUINE

 

Round six will test the Power with a double-header against Brisbane Spartans and Brisbane Capitals on Saturday, June 3 and the next day.

But perhaps the most difficult part of the draw is a round 11 triple-header weekend, which starts against Toowoomba on Friday, July 7, Ipswich the next day, before the tough trip finishes against Logan on the Sunday.

"Yes it is tough, but with the split of teams it is really the only way to do it," Smith said.

The Power have three of their final five matches being played at home, with a round 12 home game against Rockhampton, followed by a trip to Far North Queensland, for back-to-back fixtures against Townsville and the reigning men's champions Cairns.

The Power men and women finished 10th last season.