The problem that has plagued Altona Gators in their opening month reared up again in an 84-75 loss to Craigieburn Eagles in Big V men’s division 2 at the Altona Sports Centre on Sunday.

The Gators’ slow starts are becoming an issue as they are continually play catch-up.

They stalled out of the blocks again, trailing by 18 at quarter-time before gradually working back into the contest – but falling short of completing a comeback.

Gators coach Des Radoslovic is lamenting the slow starts that are contributing to his side’s 0-4 record.

“It’s something we’ve tried to address,” he said.

“We’ve tried multiple things, but we just haven’t found that recipe just yet.

“We’ve tried mixing the starting line-ups around, varying the defences depending on who we’re playing and altered the pace of play.

“I think it’s got to do with the overall energy and intensity when we first get on the court.”

Altona is showing promising signs within matches, but they have not been able to produce a consistent four-quarter effort.

Early in the Craigieburn match, it was some defensive assignments that landed them in hot water.

Late in the game, when they had a sniff of victory, it was their offence that went missing.

“Apart from the defence in the first quarter, we turned it around from there,” Radoslovic said.

“Then, in the last quarter, we shot three-from-20 … we were getting good shooters good shots, but they just weren’t falling.”

“When you get yourself into a hole like we did in the first quarter … you’re playing catch-up for too long.”

A positive note for Altona was the performance of young point guard Nathanael Coory.

He looked back to his best with an efficient 23 points, seven rebounds and two assists.

“He had a little bit of an interrupted pre-season,” Radoslovic said.

“He flew over to America for a few college visits and just before round one he got sick.

“The first few weeks he wasn’t really himself, but he came back and had a better game today.

“That’s what we expect from him – to be playing at that level.”

Jovan Bojanic provided the Gators a lift off the bench.

Bojanic scored 17 points to go with four rebounds, three assists and two steals in a well-rounded performance.

“He gave us a good scoring punch off the bench,” Radoslovic said. “He played his part.”

Altona’s search for a first win of the campaign will go on when it visits Mornington Breakers on Sunday.


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