16 March 2021

Heading into the final fixture for pre-season, the Tropics would again be without veterans Macali and Krause. Coach Dunechka called in the team’s academy prospect Bailey, while team captain Cuthbert revealed details of a closed training session mid-week.

Desperate for a win to consolidate a section 3 position, the tropics were entering after a week of headlining distractions.

Two of the tropics starting 5 were struck down with love just days before tipoff. As Macali made a long and due proposal to his (now) fiancé Mary Gwen, and Stelmach producing one of the great custom neon signs, to shine light on he and celebrity fiancé G-COCO’s engagement party.

Dunechka deflected mounting media scrutiny all week, as uncertainties around the team’s preparation began to vocalise. To add fuel to the fire, doubts clouded above (and within) the head of Tsonas for the pre-season’s final hit out. Rumoured to have preceded Monday night with an around the clock bender at the races, the Tropics utility arrived caution-footed and spatially unsure.

If there was time for conjecture to intensify, the team’s social media intern Brice Millor offered the clock face directly to the hand of fate. When just minutes before the game, valuable team data leaked to the internet, potentially exposing the entire player-management department.

On the other end, the Outsiders were in steadier waters as they looked to go 3-1 in their pre-season. It was now more than ever that the Tropics looked to their leaders. And what a response. Vice-captain Romano would bookend the match with a 3 pointer to open and close the game with a thrilling buzzer beater.

He registered 30 points for the night and steered his team to a 5-point victory in what has sent journalists into a frenzy. The 26-year-old Italian has had a monstrous lock-down in the gym and leads the team for points per game heading into Rd 1 ‘Bomber Round’.