Tim Coenraad, pictured playing in the NBL for Illawarra, suffered a foot injury playing for Canberra Gunners on Saturday. Photo: Christopher ChanThe Canberra Gunners may be forced to end their nine-year finals drought without key man Tim Coenraad after he suffered a foot injury in the club’s Victorian road double on the weekend.
Canberra’s 77-74 win at Frankston on Saturday was soured by the loss of Coenraad, who recently re-signed with Illawarra Hawks in the NBL, and Dylan Simpson (knee).
They suited up just eight players against Nunawading on Sunday and despite a 20-7 rally midway through the third quarter, succumbed 89-76.
Despite the loss the Gunners remain fourth in the eastern conference, but are just a game ahead of the Spectres and Ballarat.
Three wins from the last five games should be enough to secure a first playoff campaign since 2007, but Coenraad’s plantar fasciitis injury is a huge blow.
With Indiana Faithfull (broken finger) already sidelined, the Gunners are fast running out of troops.
“We have lots of injuries, I’m not sure Tim will play again with a foot injury and we’re running out of bodies,” Gunners coach Brad Davidson said.
“He’s a professional and he’s got a livelihood [in the NBL] he has to look after, we’ll see what happens when he gets checked out.”
Simpson’s injury isn’t considered serious and his return would be crucial as the Gunners embark on three straight home games.
Davidson was pleased with his undermanned sides resolve at Nunawading but the hosts’ offensive efficiency was the difference.
“It seemed every time we got back into it they’d hit a three pointer toward the end of the shot clock, it was frustrating,” Davidson said.
“They shot really well and it came down to that in the end.”
In the women’s competition, Canberra Capitals Academy lost to Frankston 69-57 and Nunawading 92-68 over the weekend.
Men: Canberra Gunners 77 (T Coenraad 21pts, 10reb; B Allen 15pts, 13reb) beat Frankston 74 (R Jones 20pts, nine rebs; B Lewis 21pts); Nunawading 89 (S McDonald 18pts, eight assts; S Conn 18pts, 11reb;) beat Canberra Gunners 76 (B Allen 24pts, 11reb; B Kuol 15pts)
Women: Frankston 69 (K Standish 22pts, 10reb, 5asst; T Phillips 16pts) beat Canberra Capitals Academy 57 (C Smith 15pts, M Penn 11pts); Nunawading 92 (A Kame 25pts; H Zavecz 17pts, 11reb) beat Canberra Capitals Academy 68 (M Penn 19pts, nine reb; A Davis 17pts)