Geraldton Buccaneers excelled in everything they needed to do, winning all their games in the national championship, but it still wasn’t enough to make the grand final. After winning the NBL1 West, the Buccs were straight back into training for their next task, the national championship, which put the winners of each division against each other to find the best. The tournament was conveniently held in Perth after the Rockingham Flames won it last year, so Geraldton only needed to make a bus ride to compete. Their first opponent was NBL1 East champions., the Sutherland Sharks, and Geraldton had to not only win the game, but win every quarter if they wanted to make it far in the tournament. Teams would receive three points for winning a game, but also receive a point for winning each quarter. The Buccaneers won their Friday night game against the Sharks 98-76, and outscored their opponents in three out of four quarters. The Buccs stars from this year led the way in scoring, with grand final MVP Johny Narkle dropping 27 points, along with nine rebounds, three assists and two blocks, while Zac Gattorna had 25 points, 13 rebounds, one assist, one steal and two blocks. Securing six points had the Buccs as one of the best performing teams on the first day, and they were seeded against NBL1 North winners, Ipswich Force, who only came away from their first game with one point. Against the North champions, Geraldton had as good a start as they could have asked for, going up 27-12 right before the end of the first quarter. The Force hit a late three with time running out, then in the second quarter they scored 12 unanswered points to tie the game and put the Buccs’ grand final hopes in jeopardy. After a sluggish first half when he only scored two points, Narkle turned the game on its head with an electric second half, scoring 28 points to help lead the Buccaneers to a 43-point third quarter. Geraldton pulled away with the 120-91 victory over Ipswich, winning three of the quarters. Shaun Stewart had 22 points, seven rebounds, nine assists and a steal, while Fletcher Klasztorny had 14 points, four rebounds, an assist and a steal. Geraldton had 12 points and eyes on the grand final, which would see them come against NBL1 West rival the Flames. However, their efforts just fell short, tying on points with the Knox Raiders but with a lower percentage by just 6.24 per cent. The Raiders went on to win the tournament, taking down the Flames in the grand final. For his efforts in the tournament, Narkle was selected to the NBL1 tournament all-star starting five. To cap off his efforts over the past few weeks, Narkle also earnt a selection into the NBL1 West select team that will face the Perth Wildcats in Perth this weekend. He will be joining teammates Zac Gattorna, Malik Meunier and coach Dayle Joseph who had previously been selected.