THE numbers are telling.
Warrnambool Seahawks won their first four Big V games of the season with Alex Gynes on the floor.
They’ve lost six of their past eight with their injured skipper sidelined.
The 2016 championship winner will return from a back complaint against Western Port Steelers on Saturday night as the Seahawks attempt to realign their season.
Seahawks coach Matt Alexander said Gynes’ input – from both leadership and playing perspectives – was crucial.
“He was making big plays at the end of games,” he said.
“His self-belief in big moments is priceless.”
Gynes was averaging 27 points, nine rebounds and three assists before he was injured.
“He is a very good all-round basketball player and can play inside and outside,” Alexander said.
“He’s adjusted to every situation he’s been in so far for the Seahawks.”
Dion Smith (quad) will also return to play the Steelers – a 3-9 win-loss record.
“They haven’t been winning many games but they haven’t been losing by much,” Alexander said.
“They’ve been similar to us – we’ve been losing games the last eight weeks but we feel we’ve been in games and just not getting over the line.”
Warrnambool Mermaids, aiming for 14 straight wins, will host Craigieburn Eagles.
Mermaids coach Louise Brown said the Eagles gave her side a scare in round two.
“I remember they played a fair bit of zone and we struggled a bit being our second game in,” she said.
“We hadn’t seen a zone or done a lot of work with them. We are a lot more equipped if they bring that this time."
Brown said the Mermaids preferred to play one-on-one but would implement a zone if needed.
“I have used it if we are struggling to slow a team down or if they are scoring inside the paint to clog them up a bit,” she said.
“We had to go a zone last time we played them.”
Highly-rated duo Maddy White and Holly Greene are unavailable for the clash.