WARRNAMBOOL Seahawks coach Tim Gainey has made a tragic dash home to America to be with his family following his brother’s sudden death.
Gainey played in the Seahawks’ final Big V regular season game on Saturday night before jetting off on Sunday morning.
His brother Greg was killed in a truck crash on Tuesday.
Warrnambool assistant coach Barry Brooks said it was a tough time for the long-time Seahawks basketballer.
“It’s certainly a shock for the family and everyone involved,” he said.
“He’ll be off the scene for at least a week and miss the first final.”
The Seahawks will play in an away elimination final.
They finetuned for the game with a comprehensive 101-70 drubbing of Melbourne University Black Angels at home.
Gainey scored 11 points from 27 minutes on court with Nathan Sobey (26), Xavier Johnson-Blount (23) and Alex Gynes (18) also prevalent.
Brooks said the victory highlighted the belief building within in the side.
“There’s an underlying confidence in where we’re going and what we’re doing,” he said.
“We had a late start to the season and our first couple of games were practice matches and it took us a while to get into our stride.”
Brooks will coach the Seahawks in their cut-throat final.
He is unsure if Sobey will suit up with NBL commitments with Adelaide to determine his availability. But if the 36ers guard does play, he will play a major part.
“My role won’t change a great deal,” Brooks said of coaching.
“I’ll defer to Nathan if he plays or Alex – their experiences and places they’ve been is far more extensive than mine.”
Brooks said Warrnambool’s scoring was the most positive aspect out of its win against Melbourne University.
He hopes it can replicate it against a strong opponent next week after facing an undermanned Black Angels.
“I think Melbourne Uni really packed up at half-time,” Brooks said.
“They put a bit of effort in after half-time but made no inroads and didn’t offer much so it made it easier to score.
“We had rushes of people scoring – Xavier scored heavily in the first half and had 22 points at a pretty high percentage and didn’t score as well in the second half when he fatigued a bit.
“Nathan scored heavily in the second half, Alex scored nicely in patches and Tim scored really well as well.”