Keilor Thunder’s future in Big V basketball women’s division 1 is starting to look bright.
The Thunder players are young and inexperienced, but are already showing flashes of their potential under first-year coach Tom Bandilovski.
If they can stick together for a prolonged period of time, perhaps add a key piece or two, they could be destined for much bigger things.
But how good can Keilor be this season?
Can they make a late play-off push after starting the season with a dismal 1-5 record?
Bandilovski is ruling nothing out and is proud of the Thunder’s recovery to go into the Queens Birthday break with a 6-7 record.
“We all like to play in the finals, but we have a new and young team, so I would not be disappointed if we don’t get in,” he said.
“We’re playing much better, we’ve improved a lot, we’re getting better.”
Keilor has won five of its past seven games to move up to fifth.
The Thunder’s record could have been better had it not been narrowly pipped by two points last time out by the Whittlesea Pacers.
Bandilovski says the form reversal is simply down to his players getting more time on the court together against physical and more-seasoned opponents.
“We’re a very young team, a new team, so we needed more time together,” he said.
“We are the youngest team in the competition – seven of our players can still play youth league.”
The Thunder players are starting to play to their strengths, using their speed and athleticism to produce an uptempo brand of basketball.
Confidence has grown since their upset one-point win over title contenders the Werribee Devils on the road in late April.
At the time, the Devils were undefeated and sitting on top of the ladder.
The Thunder players produced a brave performance in what was a turning point in their season.
“We beat Werribee at Werribee when they were complete and it gave us a bit more confidence,” Bandilovski said.
“Our style is very aggressive – just pushing the ball in offence.
“We’re quick compared to others, so we’re playing our style of game now.”
The next month will shape Keilor’s destiny for the season.
On Saturday, the Thunder will travel to Mildura, which is historically a graveyard for opposition teams, before returning to Stadium Drive for three consecutive home games – against play-off fancies the Werribee Devils, the Chelsea Gulls and Mildura.
“We have a very tough schedule in the last seven games, but we have a chance,” Bandilovski said.
“Every game counts for us – every game we win, we’re closer to the finals. We’ll play at our best and see what can happen.”
Meanwhile, Keilor Thunder young guns Amy Smith and Alex McKellar were part of the Big V Origin All Stars game at the weekend.