Category: NBL1 South

“Close-knit” Frankston Blues thrive on club culture

“WE’VE got a group group of guys here at Frankston and a great culture at the club, right down to the juniors and everything like that. It’s pretty close-knit.”

Starting his basketball career where he grew up in Tasmania with the North West Thunder, guard Lachlan Barker worked his way through the State Basketball league (SBL), then becoming a development player for the Sydney Kings in the NBL1 before the Blue reached out and he headed to Frankston.

Despite last year’s season being cancelled due to COVID-19, the Blues Men’s team has had a good start to the 2021 season, currently sitting in second place on the ladder after the first nine rounds. Barker says the missed season helped to grow his enthusiasm for the sport.

“It definitely gives you a bit more of a passion for it, you know. You sort of get, I guess, a bit complacent with it all, like it’s just sort of always there and you can always do it, but when it’s taken away you realise how much you enjoy it and miss it if you’re not doing it.”

With Melbourne recently going back into a snap lockdown, the team have been trying to keep up their motivation in order not to lose that winning momentum they are on.

“We’ve still been talking even though we haven’t been able to train and see each other as such, we’ve still been doing all of our individual parts like keeping fit and staying active while we can’t train together,” Barker says.

“Also, we’ve been doing a few Zoom sessions… so we still stay involved and connected, and yeah I think we will come out the other side still firing.”

Barker believes the Blues are in a good position look forward to the rest of the season, with their training reflecting that.

“We want to play fast, we want to be up tempo, and be really good on the defensive end. So we know we’ve got a lot of talented guys and we can score the ball, but if we lock down at one end we sort of feel like we can’t be beaten,” he says.

“Winning comes first and then all the individual stuff kind of comes second in my opinion, so yeah that’s the main goal just to get as far as we can and hopefully that’s the championship.”

Also in a good position for a championship is the Blues women’s NBL1 team, who are currently undefeated this season.

“I think for us it’s very realistic to go finals and then who knows what can happen from there. I think we as a group have a really great coaching staff as well, so I think anything is really possible for us,” says Frankston Blues guard and Australian Opal, Tessa Lavey.

With her extensive list of accolades, including playing the WNBL for Bendigo Spirit, playing for Richmond in the AFLW, and representing Australia in 2016 at Rio and set to attend the Tokyo Olympics with the Opals, how did Lavey end up at the Frankston Blues?

“I guess it’s just an off-season league for us from the WNBL,” she says.

“I know Snelly [head coach Belinda Snell] really well, I’ve played with her before, and she also does the Opal’s plays, so me trying to get to Tokyo, that’s obviously a bonus for me knowing the plays inside and out.”

Similar to the men’s team, Lavey and her team and trying to keep the momentum up for the rest of the season and keep their eye on the prize. Head coach Snell, former Australian Opal, Olympic Silver Medallist and 2021 WNBL Championship Assistant Coach, has been focusing on defence as a key skill in training.

“I think, you know we always focus on our defence, because we believe that’s a strong suit of ours, our defence and our communication. So then we just create some chemistry on our offensive end too, but we want our defence to create our offence, I think that’s the goal that Snelly is trying to drill into us which is really good,” Lavey says.

“There’s plenty of great people there to get the job done, and I think we can do that and Snelly is going to lead the way.”

 

Picture credit: NBL1

NBL1 Men’s stats update: June 15

THE National Basketball League (NBL)1 is in full swing with a number of players stepping up to the plate across all four competitions. Draft Central casts an eye over a couple of the top performers in the main statistical areas.

Points

Central

#1 Owen Hulland (South Adelaide) 32.00
#2 CJ Turnage (Norwood) 26.11
#3 Gregory Mays (Forestville Eagles) 23.77
#4 Michael Harris (Forestville Eagles) 23.55

North

#1 Tanner Krebs (USC Rip City) 34.00
#2 Nathan Sobey (Ipswich Force) 27.00
#3 Jamaal Robateau (South Coast Phoenix) 24.80
#4 Nicholas Stoddart (Brisbane Capitals) 24.00

South

#1 Lachlan Barker (Frankston Blues) 25.60
#2 Jonathon Mines (Hobart Charges) 24.00
#3 Ray Turner (Bendigo Braves) 22.87
#4 Isaac Turner (Geelong Supercats) 22.66

West

#1 Julius Bowie (Lakeside Lightning) 23.40
#2 Mathiang Muo (Geraldton Buccaneers) 23.14
#3 Corey Shervill (Lakeside Lightning) 21.66
#4 Louis Timms (Perth Redcats) 21.37

Assists

Central

#1 Julian Jacobs (Woodville Warriors) 8.22
#2 Hamish Staude (North Adelaide Rockets) 5.33
#3 Nick Wurm (Southern Tigers) 4.88
#4 Sam Daly (Sturt Sabres) 4.77

North

#1 Jeremy Kendle (Logan Thunder) 10.83
#2 Darnell Robateau (South Coast Phoenix) 7.60
#3 Noah Thomas (Southern Districts Spartans) 7.50
#4 Jesse Ghee (Northside Wizards) 7.00

South

#1 Lucas Barker (Frankston Blues) 6.66
#2 Kane de Wit (Mt Gambier Pioneers) 6.55
#3 Matthew Snow (Ringwood Hawks) 6.40
#4 Tad Dufelmeier (Hobart Chargers) 6.00

West

#1 Ben Purser (Perry Lakes Hawks) 5.62
#2 Kyle Armour (Lakeside Lightning) 5.33
#3 Seva Chan (Cockburn Cougars) 5.12
#4 Corban Wroe (Warwick Senators) 5.12

Rebounds

Central

#1 Alex Starling (South Adelaide) 13.77
#2 Earnest Ross (West Adelaide) 12.33
#3 Jack Purchase (North Adelaide) 12.00
#4 Owen Hulland (South Adelaide) 12.00

North

#1 Harry Froling (Mackay Meteors) 14.00
#2 Tanner Krebs (USC Rip City) 13.00
#3 Nate Jawai (Cairns Marlins) 11.00
#4 Mitch Young (Logan Thunder) 10.00

South

#1 Oliver Hayes-Brown (Dandenong Rangers) 13.87
#2 Kuany Kuany (Sandringham Sabres) 11.57
#3 Ma’alo Hicks (Geelong Supercats) 11.00
#4 Duom Dawam (Mt Gambier Pioneers) 10.77

West

#1 Jarrad Prue (Lakeside Lightning) 14.28
#2 Michael Vigor (Willeton Tigers) 12.28
#3 Nicolas Pozoglou (Cockburn Cougars) 10.83
#4 Andrew Ferguson (Perry Lakes Hawks) 9.80

Photo credit: NBL1

NBL1 South Men’s wrap: Round 6 – Miners win double overtime thriller

BALLARAT Miners have won an overtime thriller in the National Basketball League (NBL)1 South men’s match of the round against Mt Gambier Pioneers. Coming into the match, the Miners were 3-3 and locked in the bottom six, whilst the Pioneers were running hot with a 5-1 win-loss record to-date. The South Australian team playing at home were highly fancied to win their sixth consecutive match against a Miners side that had been up and down throughout the 2021 season.

MT GAMBIER 19 | 21 | 12 | 16 | 8 | 10 (86)
BALLARAT 18 | 15 | 25 | 10 | 8 | 12 (88)

The first term indicated the match was likely to be an even one, as the Pioneers scored 19-18 in the opening term to take a narrow one-point lead at the first break. That advantage extended out to seven points by half-time, which put the Pioneers in a 40-33 position. Looking in a bit of trouble, the Miners stormed to the lead with a dominant 25-12 third term that made all the difference, shutting down the home team’s offence, and grabbing a six-point lead at the final break.

In a see-sawing final stanza, the lead changed multiple times, with the teams trading baskets, and missing shots, and the Miners – courtesy of Sam Short – took a two-point advantage with a Pioneers timeout called in the final minute. When William Hickey nailed one of his two free throws – two would have certainly made life difficult for the Pioneers – the lead was out to three. Then Thomas Daly got the ball to Tom Kubank who delivered the three-point ranger to tie the scores. Ballarat Miners had several chances in the dying seconds – with Matt Kenyon have a couple of shots and Short attempting a jumper but nothing would stick. The buzzer sounded with the teams level at 68 points apiece.

Five minutes later, and the sides still could not be split, with the teams again at 76-all. For each Miners basket or points, the Pioneers responded. The lead changed four times in the first two minutes seconds of the second overtime, with a Duom Dawam jumper putting the Pioneers up by one with 3:11 on the clock. Hickey handed his side back the lead with free throws before Nick Marshall did the same for the home team, and the lead changes went up to six. It was not until Marshall could not quite find his range, with three shots in the final minute, as Hickey made him pay for the first set of missed shots with 40 seconds on the clock. Marshall finally nailed one off the second chance points of his own jump shot, and the Pioneers were one-point up. Just as it looked like the home fans would leave happy, Hickey assisted Jock Perry who drained the three-point jumper with four seconds remaining to win the game.

Hickey finished with an outstanding 31 points, 14 rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block in the win, teaming up well with Short (27 points, nine rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block), whilst Perry also picked up a double-double of 17 points and 14 rebounds. Deng Acuoth was phenomenal close to the basket with five blocks – including a crucial one late – as well as eight points and five rebounds. Jordan Lingard (five points, eight rebounds) was the other scorer for the Miners.

For the Pioneers, Titus Robinson drained a match-high 40 points in 39 minutes, also recording eight rebounds – seven defensive – and four blocks, while Marshall (21 points, 13 rebounds and two assists) and Dawam (16 points, eight rebounds and two assists) were also busy. Daly had an impact outside of scoring with four points, nine assists, eight rebounds and two steals, while Kubank managed the five points but eight rebounds.

In other results, Hobart Chargers suffered defeat at the hands of Dandenong Rangers, before posting a win on the road against Sandringham Sabres. North West Tasmania did the double in Victoria, knocking off Eltham Wildcats and Kilsyth Cobras in great wins to head back to the Apple Isle happy. Meanwhile Frankston Blues also picked up two wins, this time over Geelong Supercats and Albury-Wodonga Bandits, as the Bandits suffered yet another defeat at the hands of Ringwood Hawks. Nunawading Spectres defeated Knox Raiders by 29 points, Diamond Valley Eagles took care of Kilsyth, Waverley Falcons held off an impressive Bendigo Braves by 11 points, and the Spectres easily rolled past Melbourne Tigers in the final game of the round.

Picture credit: Ian Wilson Photography

NBL1 South men’s wrap: Round 5

NO National Basketball League (NBL)1 South men’s team remains winless after both Albury-Wodonga Bandits and Dandenong Rangers secured wins this round to even up the ladder following Round 5 of action.

Hobart Chargers (107) def. Diamond Valley Eagles (97)

A dominant first quarter set up Hobart Chargers for a memorable 10-point win over Diamond Valley Eagles on Friday night. The Chargers piled on 40-22 in the opening term, and whilst it was fairly even after that – and the Eagles made up nine points in the second half – it was the first stanza that did all the damage as Hobart won 107-97. Jonathan Mines lead the way with 32 points – including seven of 14 from three-point range – two rebounds and two assists. Jack Stanwix (19 points, seven rebounds and seven assists), Zachary White (16 points, six rebounds) and Koen Sapwell (11 points, six assists and three rebounds) were other productive scorers in the victory. Robert Heath top-scored for the Eagles with 21 points, as well as seven rebounds and three steals, while Blacio Owili (13 points, seven rebounds and two assists) and Joel Capetola (12 points, six rebounds and four assists) were also busy.

Geelong Supercats (90) def. Melbourne Tigers (66)

Geelong Supercats have claimed a comfortable 24-point victory over Melbourne Tigers, dominating the opening three quarters to build that unassailable lead. Whilst the second term was relatively close, the Supercats won the first and third terms by eight and 13 points respectively which all but confirmed the 90-66 win. Gabriel Hadley (23 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals) top-scored for the Supercats, while Jack Macdonald (21 points, six rebounds and six assists) and Owen Odigie (13 points, six rebounds and three assists) also reached double-figure points. Felix von Hofe (18 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals) was the top points scorer for the Tigers, while Anthony Karabatsos (11 points, five rebounds) and Keenan Willie (10 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals).

North West Tasmania (100) def. Diamond Valley Eagles (78)

Doubling down on Diamond Valley’s pain on the Apple Isle, North West Tasmania Thunder came to play with a fairly impressive 22-point win at home. The Thunder raced out to a seven-point quarter time lead, and whilst the Eagles cut that back by two, the home team dominated the second half with a 49-29 effort to run out 100-78 victors. Taran Armstrong (19 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals) was lively, as was Joseph Chilcott (17 points, six rebounds), Paul Campbell (16 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks) and Bradley Simpson (16 points, six rebounds and four assists). For the Eagles, Heath again top-scored with 16 points in defeat, and also collected three rebounds. BJ Symons (13 points, three rebounds and three steals) and Owili (10 points, five rebounds and two steals) were also strong contributors in the loss.

Bendigo Braves (92) def. Eltham Wildcats (78)

Bendigo Braves’ ripping start to the season continued with an impressive 14-point victory over Eltham Wildcats at home. The Braves lead by a point at quarter time and half-time, and extended that to five by the final break, before blowing their opponents away with a 28-19 fourth quarter to win, 92-78. Ray Turner recorded a double-double of 25 points and 10 rebounds, whilst Nelson Larkins (16 points, seven rebounds and four assists) and Chris Hogan (11 points, three rebounds and three assists) were also productive in the Braves’ win. Adam Doyle knocked down 32 points – five of 11 from long-range – as well as two rebounds and two steals to lead the way for the Wildcats, while Ovie Magbegor (eight points, 13 rebounds and three assists) and Sam Whelan (eight points, four rebounds) contributed well.

Dandenong Rangers (96) def. by Frankston Blues (104)

After trailing most of the game, Frankston Blues stepped up in the final quarter to blow away Dandenong Rangers by eight points, 104-96. The Rangers raced out to a five-point quarter time lead, and were up by eight points at the last change, before Frankston stormed home with 40 points to 24 and win in a tight one. Dillon Stith was huge with 32 points, nine rebounds and four blocks, while Lachlan Barker (25 points, five assists, four rebounds and three steals), Alister MacDonald (17 points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals) and Lucas Barker (13 points, four assists, three rebounds and three steals) all had big numbers for the Blues. Oliver Hayes-Brown (31 points, 16 rebounds) was a massive influence across the court for the Rangers, while Sean Macdonald (25 points, six assists and four rebounds) and Declan Soukup (15 points) also impressed.

Kilsyth Cobras (72) def. Nunawading Spectres (61)

Kilsyth Cobras’ strong start to the season continued with a low-scoring victory over Nunawading Spectres at home on Saturday night. The Cobras won the first three quarters, with the second and third terms being the most damaging to lead by 12 points at the final break, before the Spectres reduced the final margin to 11 in the 72-61 loss. Ben Ursich (17 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals), Deng Riak (15 points, 14 rebounds) and Corey Jeffs (13 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals) all contributed to the win in their own way across the court. Dain Swetalla had 22 points, nine rebounds and two assists for the reigning premiers, whilst Andrew Steel (20 points, four rebounds) and Costa Hronopoulos (nine points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals) were the next best Spectres in the loss.

Albury-Wodonga Bandits (94) def. Waverley Falcons (82)

After a trying start to the year, Albury-Wodonga Bandits finally broke through for their first win of the season, downing the Waverley Falcons by 12 points on the border. The Bandits raced out to an eight-point quarter time lead and 11-point advantage at half-time. As has been the case in various matches this year, the opposition hit back in the second half to cut the deficit to seven points at the last change, but this time the Bandits stepped it up to hold on, win the final quarter in emphatic style 30-25, and record the 94-82 victory. Mitchell Dance (28 points, 10 rebounds) picked up a double-double, while Sharif Watson (24 points, nine rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks) and John Crnogorac (14 points, nine rebounds) almost did the same in the win. Bennie Lewis was everywhere for the Falcons on the scoring front, dropping 32 points – six of 11 from three-point range – four rebounds and three assists. The other two double-digit scorers were Dexter Kernich-Drew (16 points, nine rebounds) and Durrell Mcdonald (12 points, three assists, two rebounds and two steals).

Ringwood Hawks (87) def. Ballarat Miners (85)

Ringwood Hawks picked up their third win of the season in a nail-biter over Ballarat Miners, as a later triple from Jack Barry handed the Hawks the 87-85 victory. The home team trailed by two points at the first break and four points at the final break, but a 25-19 last quarter resulted in Ringwood coming over the top and snatching the win at home. CJ Asuncion-Byrd top-scored with 23 points and six rebounds, while Matthew Fennell (17 points, 11 rebounds and three assists) picked up a double-double, and Ricardo Martin (14 points, seven rebounds and three assists) was also lively for the Hawks. Jock Perry racked up 25 points and seven rebounds in defeat for the Miners, teaming up well with William Hickey (22 points, seven rebounds and four assists), while Deng Acuoth (14 points, seven rebounds and five blocks) was also lively.

Mt Gambier Pioneers (118) def. Knox Raiders (93)

In another monstrous performance, Mt Gambier Pioneers picked up their fifth win of the season with a 25-point victory over Knox Raiders. The pioneers showed no mercy in the opening term, bolting to a 15-point quarter time lead. The game was closer after that, but the South Australian side extended the lead to 21 points and 26 points by half-time and the final break, before Knox won the last term to reduce it to a final score of 118-93. Nick Marshall (21 points, eight rebounds and three assists) top scored for the Pioneers as a whopping seven players hit double-digit points. Three others reached double-double milestones in Tom Kubank (19 points, 11 rebounds and four assists), Thomas Daly (17 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists) and Kane de Wit (14 points, 10 assists and four rebounds). The Raiders also had plenty of high scorers with six players hitting double-digit points, lead by Jack Roberts (18 points, four rebounds and three steals), Dylan Hare (17 points, five rebounds and four steals) and Abraham Nyok (12 points, seven rebounds and three assists).

Eltham Wildcats (105) def. Sandringham Sabres (91)

Compiling another loss for the Sandringham Sabres, Eltham Wildcats ran over the top of their opponents with an impressive second half to post a 14-point win. The Wildcats trailed by seven points at half-time then added 58 points to 37 after the main break to run away with the contest, 105-91. Simon Bradbury (22 points, 14 rebounds) and Justin Aver (20 points, 13 rebounds, four assists and three steals) were huge in picking up double-doubles, whilst Whelan was a long-range shooting machine, knocking down eight of 15 from long-range to finish with 33 points. For the Sabres, Nicholas Gabsch top-scored with 28 points and eight rebounds, while James McKinnon (16 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals) and Kuany Kuany (15 points, nine rebounds and five assists) were also productive getting into double-digit points in the match.

Frankston Blues (111) def. Bendigo Braves (82)

Frankston Blues made it back-to-back wins over the weekend, returning home to Frankston Basketball Stadium to put away Bendigo Braves by 29 points. The Blues raced out to a 10-point lead at quarter time, and 19 points by half-time, and when the teams headed for the final break, it was 28 points the difference. The final term was a lot tighter, but the damage was done, and the home team won 111-82. Lucas Barker came agonisingly close to a triple-double with 17 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds, while Stith (22 points, four rebounds, four assists and four blocks), Lachlan Baker (22 points, five rebounds and two assists) and MacDonald (16 points, six assists, two steals and two rebounds) were again lively. Turner put on another double-double show of 18 points and 12 rebounds, while Jake Lloyd (16 points, eight assists and six rebounds), Brennan Rymer (16 points, five rebounds and three assists) and Matthew Andronicos (14 points, five rebounds) were also steadfast in defeat.

Melbourne Tigers (85) def. by Dandenong Rangers (93)

Dandenong Rangers bounced back from a loss the day before to Frankston in order to post an eight-point win over Melbourne Tigers, their first victory of the season. The Tigers lead by five points at quarter time, but the Rangers quickly turned that around to storm to a five-point half-time lead themselves thanks to a 24-14 third term. The visitors maintained the rage in the third quarter thanks to a 28-19 term, before Melbourne cut the deficit back by winning the last stanza, but it would not be enough as the Rangers won, 93-85. Hayes-Brown top-scored again with a massive double-double of 23 points and 16 rebounds, while Macdonald (13 points, six assists and two rebounds) and Riley Simmons (17 points, eight rebounds) were also productive for the Rangers. Melbourne had an even spread of scorers lead by Dogukan Elyazar (16 points, three rebounds), Karabatsos (15 points, six assists, four rebounds and two steals) and Willie (14 points, seven rebounds five assists and two steals) among five double-digit scorers in defeat.

Picture credit: NBL1

2021 NBL1 South preview: Round 5

THE National Basketball League (NBL)1 South Round 5 preview features Diamond Valley Eagles as the winless women’s side comes up against the fellow winless side Hobart Chargers, while the 4-1 Eagles’ mens side take on North West Thunder on Saturday, which looms as a huge weekend for the northern suburb based side.

WOMEN’S:

Something has to give in the opening clash between the winless Hobart Chargers and Diamond Valley Eagles. Both teams have struggled to-date, playing five games apiece and yet to get any points on the board. They sit 15th and 17th respectively, with the home Chargers having a percentage of 84, while the Eagles are lower with 70, just ahead of cellar dwellers, Albury-Wodonga Bandits. A win for the successful team means they not only kick-start their season, but break the drought that has been building in the opening rounds.

Hobart Chargers have a quartet of talented stars who have made a promising start to the NBL1 South season despite the five consecutive losses. Madeleine Garrick has been sensational in the opening month, racking up 21.6 points, 9.0 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2.4 steals to lead her side well. Garrick has teamed up well with fellow back-courters Ellie Collins (15.0 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists) and Sharna Thompson (11.0 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.6 assists). Up the front, Tayla Roberts has been a source of scoring knocking down 17.2 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists.

The Eagles have had an even spread of contributors that has not quite been enough to get over the line, with Olivia Bontempelli averaging 13.3 points and 5.5 rebounds from the back court. Jade Dunne (10.0 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.4 steals) has also averaged double-figure points, while teenage star Sophie Burrows has shown just how much potential she has with the 16-year-old putting up 9.8 points, 7.3 points and 2.8 steals per match. Teah Reichert is another to keep an eye on at the five spot, with the 17-year-old grabbing 8.4 rebounds to go with 7.2 points and 1.4 blocks per game.

In other fixtures, the Eagles do the double on the Apple Isle up against the 3-2 Launceston Tornadoes, while fellow 0-5 sides Mt Gambier Pioneers and Albury-Wodonga Bandits face the Waverley Falcons (3-2) and Knox Raiders (4-0) respectively. One of the matches of the round will be the 4-1 Bendigo Braves hosting the undefeated Eltham Wildcats (5-0), with the Wildcats playing host to the Sandringham Sabres (3-2) on Sunday. The Braves have a tough weekend also needing to take on the Frankston Blues (5-0) on Sunday, as the Blues will be coming off a trip against close rivals, Dandenong Rangers (2-3) on the Saturday. In the final matches of the weekend, Geelong Supercats host Melbourne Tigers, Kilsyth Cobras host Nunawading Spectres, the Ballarat Rush travel to Ringwood Hawks, and the Tigers lock horns with the Rangers in another Sunday fixture.

FIXTURES:

Hobart Chargers (0-5) vs. Diamond Valley Eagles (0-5)
Geelong Supercats (1-4) vs. Melbourne Tigers (4-2)
Bendigo Braves (4-1) vs. Eltham Wildcats (5-0)
Dandenong Rangers (2-3) vs. Frankston Blues (5-0)
Kilsyth Cobras (3-1) vs. Nunawading Spectres (3-2)
Albury-Wodonga Bandits (0-5) vs. Waverley Falcons (3-2)
Ringwood Hawks (2-2) vs. Ballarat Rush (2-3)
Mt Gambier Pioneers (0-5) vs. Knox Raiders (4-0)
Launceston Tornadoes (3-2) vs. Diamond Valley Eagles (0-5)
Eltham Wildcats (5-0) vs. Sandringham Sabres (3-2)
Melbourne Tigers (4-2) vs. Dandenong Rangers (2-3)
Frankston Blues (5-0) vs, Bendigo Braves (4-1)

MEN’S:

Diamond Valley Eagles also feature in our NBL1 South men’s match of the week this weekend, but at the opposite end of the ladder, winning four of their past five games to start the year, the same as North West Tasmania Thunder who they play on Saturday. Having clashed with Hobart Chargers on Friday night, the Eagles will be ready and raring to go for a second game against a Tasmanian rival. The Eagles are coming off back-to-back wins, whilst for the Thunder, they will be gunning for four in a row at OBC Stadium.

Three Diamond Valley Eagles players have averaged the double-figure points with Blacio Owili almost knocking down the 19.2 points and 9.2 rebounds out of the five. The experienced 33-year-old is a difficult man to stop at both ends and will be a key player in this match. They have great depth in the five spot, with Ben Allen (8.2 points, 5.2 rebounds) also having an impressive game, as Ngor Manyang (16.0 points, 5.4 rebounds) and Darcy Harding (11.8 points, 8.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists) have also put up double-figure points in season 2021.

Whilst the Eagles have the two players averaging 15-plus points, the Thunder have not had the standout shooter, but instead have six players averaging more than eight points per game. Leading the way is Joseph Chilcott who is averaging 12.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.4 steals per game, slightly ahead of teammate Bradley Simpson (12.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists). The 18-year-old Sejr Deans (11.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game) is also averaging double-figure points but has thus far only managed the two games. Paul Campbell (10.4 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists) standing tall at the five, and the back court duo of Taran Armstrong (9.0 points, 6.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.5 steals) and Mason Bragg (9.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.6 steals) have also impressed when they have played.

In other fixtures, the only winless sides remaining are the Dandenong Rangers – who face Frankston Blues (3-2) and Melbourne Tigers (1-5) – and Albury-Wodonga Bandits – who face Waverley Falcons (3-2) – will be keen to get on the board in season 2021. The Tigers face the double-up taking on Geelong Supercats on the Saturday, while the likes of Blues meet Bendigo Braves on Sunday. Bendigo double-up against Eltham Wildcats themselves who the latter play their second game against Sandringham Sabres. Meanwhile Ringwood Hawks host Ballarat Miners, Kilsyth Cobras host Nunawading Spectres and Mt Gambier Pioneers lock horns with Knox Raiders in the other clashes across the NBL1 South men’s competition.

FIXTURES:

Hobart Chargers (3-2) vs. Diamond Valley Eagles (4-1)
Geelong Supercats (4-1) vs. Melbourne Tigers (1-5)
Bendigo Braves (4-1) vs. Eltham Wildcats (1-4)
Dandenong Rangers (0-5) vs. Frankston Blues (3-2)
Kilsyth Cobras (3-1) vs. Nunawading Spectres (3-2)
Albury-Wodonga Bandits (0-5) vs. Waverley Falcons (3-2)
Ringwood Hawks (2-2) vs. Ballarat Miners (2-3)
Mt Gambier Pioneers (4-1) vs. Knox Raiders (2-2)
North West Tasmania (4-1) vs. Diamond Valley Eagles (4-1)
Eltham Wildcats (1-4) vs. Sandringham Sabres (1-4)
Melbourne Tigers (1-5) vs. Dandenong Rangers (0-5)
Frankston Blues (3-2) vs. Bendigo Braves (4-1)

Picture credit: Lauri Jean Photography

2021 NBL1 South preview: Round 4

IT is already up to Round 4 in the National Basketball League (NBL)1 South competition, and our matches of the round this week feature the 3-1 Bendigo Braves and Melbourne Tigers in the women’s, whilst in the men’s, the undefeated Knox Raiders (3-0) lock horns with the Ringwood Hawks (2-1).

WOMEN’S:

In our NBL1 South women’s match of the round, two sides with 3-1 records go head-to-head in Bendigo Braves and Melbourne Tigers. The Tigers also go on to play the winless Mt Gambier Pioneers on Sunday at home, but first have to make the trek up to Bendigo on Saturday. Both these teams come in with some great form, but it is hard to look past the Tigers who completely dismantled Albury-Wodonga Bandits (48 points) and Diamond Valley Eagles (45), then took care of the Hobart Chargers (22). The big question mark is the fact the Tigers have not beaten a side that has won a game yet, with all three teams having been winless to start the season.

They went and lost to Sandringham Sabres in Round 1 before the Tigers had hit their groove, with the Sabres having now lost their past two games to sit 2-2 heading into Round 4. On the other hand, the Braves have been ultra impressive, winning by 28 points against Dandenong Rangers last week, after overcoming Ballarat Rush in an overtime thriller the day before. Their only loss came in Round 2 with a spirited six-point defeat at the hands of the top of the table Frankston Blues, which was the exact margin the Braves came away with in victory against the Mr Gambier Pioneers in Round 1. On paper, the Tigers form looks better, but in theory, the Braves have played the tougher opponents which makes this set for a ripping showdown.

Looking at the Braves’ side, Tess Madgen has had a brilliant start to the season, with the WNBL star putting up 22.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 7.3 assists, as well as averaging more than a steal per game. After threatening with triple-doubles three consecutive weeks heading into this clash, it would be quite the feat if she could achieve it, especially coming off a blistering competition season-high 43 points (and nine rebounds, nine assists) against the Rangers last week. She has had at least nine rebounds the past three weeks and at least eight assists, showing just how damaging she can be across all facets of the court.

Across the court, Abigail Wehrung is an experienced talent, averaging the 15.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game, while Cassidy McLean (6.5 points, 6.5 rebounds) and Piper Dunlop (7.5 points, 5.3 rebounds) are young guns on the rise in Australian basketball. The crucial cog in the team is center, Kate Oliver who has almost averaged a double-double across four games this season, putting up 16.8 points and 9.0 rebounds. In her last game she actually achieved the feat with a whopping 14 rebounds to go with 18 points.

Oliver will need to be at that level when she takes on rising WNBL star, Zitina Aokuso who has been lighting up the NBL1 with 15.3 points, 9.0 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game. The Townsville Fire talent has been managed to start the season, and since clocking up more than 30 points the past two weeks, has had a double-double (10 points, 13 rebounds) and then triple double (19 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds). She has provided a big-small threat with dual sport start Monique Conti who has been in blistering shooting form, racking up 24.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game.

After a quiet Round 1 game – indicative of the overall team performance against the Sabres, Conti has put up 28, 23 and 40 points in her past three games, as well as six, seven and seven assists, whilst also averaging a massive four steals per game, 11 coming in her past two games. Isabella Brancatisano has benefited from Aokuso and Conti being the focal points having moved up from the Supercats this season to put up 19.3 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists, also racking up seven steals against the Bandits for an average of two per game this year. Gemma Simon (9.5 points), Geraldine McCorkell (8.5 points, 4.8 rebounds) and Charlotte Brancatisano (3.3 points, 2.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists) are among other Tigers doing well this season.

The other massive clash not to be missed will be the Launceston Tornadoes (3-1) up against the Eltham Wildcats (3-0). With the Wildcats having an earlier fixture against the winless Hobart Chargers, it is likely they will head into the clash with four straight wins and hungry to claim one on the road against the Tornadoes. The other non-Victorian side in the Mt Gambier Pioneers will travel to Dandenong Rangers and the Tigers home courts over the weekend, while Albury-Wodonga Bandits host Kilsyth Cobras (2-1) in a bid to get the Bandits’ first win of the season;.

Elsewhere, the undefeated Frankston Blues head up to Ballarat to face the 2-2 Rush, Diamond Valley Eagles will look to get on the board when they travel to the out-of-form Sandringham Sabres, and the undefeated Knox Raiders will head to meet Ringwood Hawks (1-2). Two sides with 1-2 records in Geelong Supercats and Nunawading Spectres will lock horns, with the Supercats having a second fixture – this one on the road – against Waverley Falcons on Sunday, while the Spectres also have a second fixture up against the Rangers on Sunday.

FIXTURES:

Hobart Chargers (0-4) vs. Eltham Wildcats (3-0)
Sandringham Sabres (2-2) vs. Diamond Valley Eagles (0-4)
Geelong Supercats (1-2) vs. Nunawading Spectres (1-2)
Ballarat Rush (2-2) vs. Frankston Blues (4-0)
Bendigo Braves (3-1) vs. Melbourne Tigers (3-1)
Dandenong Rangers (1-2) vs. Mt Gambier Pioneers (0-3)
Launceston Tornadoes (3-1) vs. Eltham Wildcats (3-0)
Albury-Wodonga Bandits (0-4) vs. Kilsyth Cobras (2-1)
Ringwood Hawks (1-2) vs. Knox Raiders (3-0)
Waverley Falcons (2-2) vs. Geelong Supercats (1-2)
Melbourne Tigers (3-1) vs. Mt Gambier Pioneers (0-3)
Nunawading Spectres (1-2) vs. Dandenong Rangers (1-2)

MEN’S:

In the men’s competition, the undefeated Knox Raiders travel to The Rings in order to try and extend their record to four games up against the Ringwood Hawks (2-1). In their last start, Knox Raiders destroyed Albury-Wodonga Bandits by 73 points in the largest winning margin of the season. Prior to that, the Raiders picked up wins over Kilsyth Cobras (2-1) by 12 points and Geelong Supercats (1-2) by seven points. Both opponents have shown they could win, so the tight victories were still impressive, but the wiping the floor with the Bandits will give them great confidence coming into this match.

The Hawks on the other hand started the season with a forgettable 31-point loss to Eltham Wildcats (3-0), but have since rebounded with wins over Geelong Supercats (1-2) by 29 points and Mt Gambier Pioneers (0-3) by 44 points. The last two weeks have been pretty impressive for the Hawks, and will be really tested against the in-form Raiders, who will be hoping to keep in touch with top of the table Frankston Blues.

Ringwood Hawks have some great depth across their team, starting with big man Adrien Sturt, who is averaging a double-double of 20.0 points and 12.3 rebounds. After narrowly missing out on a double-double in Round 1 (25 points, nine rebounds), Sturt has made up for it with back-to-back double-doubles in Round 2 (23 points, 12 rebounds) and Round 3 (12 points, 16 rebounds) to be a dominant player off the boards. He will team up with Matthew Fennell (14.3 points, 5.0 rebounds) in the front court, with center Trevor Latham (7.0 points, 7.3 rebounds) the other big man to pull down boards.

The back court features some talented guards and scoring machines, with CJ Asuncion-Byrd having missed the last game, but averaging 23.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists per match. Alongside him, Jack Barry has managed the 18.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists, to make it a five which is quite threatening to opposition lineups. The Raiders back court features Ben Ayre (15.0 points, 4.0 assists and 3.5 rebounds) and Jack Roberts (8.3 points, 5.6 rebounds) who have both made promising starts to the season.

In the front court, the Raiders have plenty of depth across the board. Dylan Hare leads the way in terms of points with 14.3 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists, with Abraham Nyok (11.0 points, 7.3 rebounds) the other key player using his time on court wisely with at least seven rebounds per match. Simon Grant has been a reliable source of support on that front, averaging more than seven points and rebounds per game, as well as three assists and steals per game, to be an all-round contributor and has helped the Raiders remain undefeated this season.

In other results, Eltham Wildcats (1-2) make the trek to Tasmania to take on the Hobart Chargers (2-2) and North West Thunder (3-1), while Mt Gambier Pioneers (2-1) face both the Dandenong Rangers (0-3) and Melbourne Tigers (1-3) on the road. The Tigers take on the impressive Bendigo Braves the day before, with the Rangers locking horns with the Nunawading Spectres on Sunday. Albury-Wodonga Bandits is the only side to have lost four games and they come up against the Kilsyth Cobras (2-1) at home this week, with the undefeated Geelong Supercats hosting Nunawading Spectres (2-1) and then travelling to Waverley Falcons (2-2).

In the other remaining matches, two teams with opposite win-loss records in Sandringham Sabres (1-3) and Diamond Valley Eagles (3-1) do battle, while two evenly balanced teams with 2-2 records in Ballarat Miners and Frankston Blues also clash.

FIXTURES:

Hobart Chargers (2-2) vs. Eltham Wildcats (1-2)
Sandringham Sabres (1-3) vs. Diamond Valley Eagles (3-1)
Geelong Supercats (3-0) vs. Nunawading Spectres (2-1)
Ballarat Miners (2-2) vs. Frankston Blues (2-2)
Bendigo Braves (3-1) vs. Melbourne Tigers (1-3)
Dandenong Rangers (0-3) vs. Mt Gambier Pioneers (1-2)
North West Thunder (3-1) vs. Eltham Wildcats (1-2)
Albury-Wodonga Bandits (0-4) vs. Kilsyth Cobras (2-1)
Ringwood Hawks (1-2) vs. Knox Raiders (2-1)
Waverley Falcons (2-2) vs. Geelong Supercats (3-0)
Nunawading Spectres (2-1) vs. Dandenong Rangers (0-3)
Melbourne Tigers (1-3) vs. Mt Gambier Pioneers (2-1)

Picture credit: Mick Connolly

2021 NBL1 South Men’s wrap: Round 3

BENDIGO Braves had a couple of sterling wins in Round 3 of the National Basketball League (NBL)1 South Men’s competition, whilst Geelong Supercats held off Waverley Falcons in a thriller to be the only undefeated team remaining in the competition.

Geelong Supercats (81) def. Waverley Falcons (79)

Geelong Supercats have held on in a thrilling contest against Waverley Falcons, coming from four points down at quarter time to post an 81-79 win. The Supercats quickly hit back in the second quarter to cut the half-time deficit to just one point, before extending it out to two at the last change. The Falcons hit back in the final term to balance the ledger, but could not get in front when it counted. Isaac Turner (16 points, six rebounds and two steals) and Gabriel Hadley (17 points, four rebounds and two assists) both turned it on for the Supercats, while Jack Macdonald (13 points, four assists and three rebounds) and Owen Odigie (12 points, seven rebounds) were also impressive. For the Falcons, Durrell McDonald (18 points, seven rebounds and three steals) and Bennie Lewis (15 points, nine rebounds, six assists and two steals) were the pick of the bunch, while Tristan De Zwart Forsyth (15 points, five rebounds) and Jake Heath (14 points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals) were also strong in the match.

Frankston Blues (78) def. by North West Tasmania (86)

Grabbing a win on the road, North West Tasmania Thunder did enough against Frankston Blues in the middle two quarters to cause an upset at the Frankston Basketball Stadium on Saturday night. With the first and fourth terms all-square in terms of points, the Thunder won the second and third terms by a combined eight points to secure the 86-78 victory. Joseph Chilcott (19 points, four rebounds and two steals) led the point-scorers, while Mason Bragg (13 points, four rebounds, four assists and four steals), Joel Beveridge (12 points, six assists and two rebounds) and Paul Campbell (11 points, seven rebounds and two blocks) were among the better players on the night. Veteran David Andersen stood up for the Blues, putting up 15 points, nine rebounds and two assists, as Lucas Barker impressed with 10 points, eight assists and six rebounds. Dillon Stith picked up a double-double of 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Lachlan Baker (18 points, seven rebounds) equal top-scored for the losers.

Knox Raiders (78) def. Albury-Wodonga Bandits (73)

A topsy-turvy match between Knox Raiders and Albury-Wodonga Bandits saw the Raiders string back-to-back wins, whilst handing the visitors their third straight loss to start the season. The Bandits raced away to a seven-point lead at quarter time, but that was reversed in the second half with the teams all square again. As if there was a breeze in the State Basketball Centre, the Bandits again stormed to a commanding eight-point lead at three quarter time, before the Raiders piled on 27-14 in the final quarter for a 78-73 win. Ben Ayre led the scoring with 20 points, five rebounds, six assists and two steals, while Simon Grant (10 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and three steals) and Dylan Hare (12 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and three steals) both picked up double-doubles. It was predominantly a two-man show for the visitors as Mitchell Dance and John Crnogorac combined for 43 points and 12 rebounds, while Sharif Watson came close to a double-double of nine points, 10 rebounds and three steals.

Ballarat Miners (80) def. by Bendigo Braves (85)

Bendigo Braves needed the full four quarters and then some overtime to finally grab a win over Ballarat Miners despite a one-sided second term. The Braves raced out to a 23-point lead at half-time of their road trip, scoring 30-8 in the second term to seemingly be in complete control. The second half saw a change in fortunes however, as the Miners piled on 46 points to 23 to level the scores, 69-69 at the final buzzer. Despite all the momentum being with the Miners, the Braves found a way, putting up 16 points to 11 in the first overtime period to come away with the 85-80 win. Ray Turner had a night out with 27 points, 10 rebounds, two steals and two blocks, teaming up well with Nelson Larkins (23 points, five rebounds and three assists) on the scoring front. Brennan Rymer (10 points, six rebounds, five assists and two steals) and Javaan Mumtaz (13 points, three rebounds and three assists) were the other prevalent scorers. For the Miners, William Hickey knocked down 27 points and 13 rebounds, with Matt Kenyon (17 points, 12 rebounds) also picking up a double-double. Sam Short (16 points, six assists and five rebounds) and Deng Acuoth (10 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two blocks) were also strong in the loss.

Diamond Valley Eagles (97) def. Melbourne Tigers (73)

Bouncing back from their first loss of the season in Round 2, the Diamond Valley Eagles moved to 3-1 in the season with a comfortable 24-point victory over Melbourne Tigers. The Eagles dominated the first half to race out to a 19-point half-time lead, before the Tigers cut the difference to 13 at the final change. Reassessing at the break, the Eagles stepped up again and stormed to the win with a 29-18 last term for the 97-73 triumph. Blacio Owili had 23 points and eight rebounds, with Ngor Manyang (13 points, nine rebounds and two assists), Ben Allen (12 points, six rebounds) and Joel Capetola (six points, nine assists, five rebounds and two steals) among the other key contributors. Anthony Karabatsos (18 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals) tried his best for the Tigers, with Felix von Hofe (17 points, two rebounds) again solid on the scoring front, and Keenan Willie (15 points, seven rebounds and two assists) among the better players on the losing side.

Eltham Wildcats (74) def. Nunawading Spectres (69)

In a quirk of events, Eltham Wildcats grabbed their first win, whilst simultaneously handing Nunawading Spectres their first loss at Eltham High School on Saturday night. The Spectres led by a point at quarter time, with the Wildcats to go up by two at the main break. The Spectres took control in the third term to race to a seven-point advantage at the final break and seemingly on their way to another win. The home side had other ideas though, crashing through in the final term with a 23-11 quarter to secure the victory, 74-69. Adam Doyle led the way with 26 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals, while Justin Aver (16 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals) was also prominent. Ovie Magbegor and Simon Bradbury both only scored the four points each, but combined for 21 rebounds in the process. For Nunawading, Peter Hooley (13 points, four rebounds and three assists) and Dain Swetalla (12 points, five rebounds and two assists) both stood up despite inaccurate shooting nights, while Simon Conn was huge off the boards for eight points and 14 rebounds,.

Kilsyth Cobras (86) def. Hobart Chargers (76)

Kilsyth Cobras bounced back from a Round 2 loss to post a double-figure win over Hobart Chargers. In a momentum-swinging game, the Cobras led by six points at quarter time, trailed by one at half-time and then dominated the third term to race out to a 11-point lead at the final break, before eventually getting up by 10 points, 86-76. Ben Ursich (22 points, two assists) and Corey Jeffs (21 points, 12 rebounds and two steals) were the key scorers for the Cobras, while Adrian Tomada (14 points, 11 assists, five rebounds and two steals) also picked up a double-double, and Deng Riak (nine points, 11 rebounds) was not too far off one as well. Elijah Pawson (20 points, four rebounds) was a dominant scorer, as Jacob Richards (13 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and two steals) picked up a double-double, and Jonathan Mines (13 points, five rebounds) and Jack Stanwix (12 points, eight assists and three rebounds) were also busy in the loss.

Mt Gambier Pioneers (97) def. Ringwood Hawks (93)

Grabbing their first win in South Australia this year, Mt Gambier Pioneers won a nail-biter over Ringwood Hawks on Saturday night. The Pioneers led by eight points at half-time, and while the Hawks managed to claw back to the deficit to four by the final buzzer, it would not be enough, going down 97-93 at The Ice House. Erik Burdon (22 points, two steals) led the way from a scoring perspective, as Duom Dawam (15 points, 13 rebounds) and Nick Marshall (16 points, nine rebounds and three assists) both impacted off the boards, and Thomas Daly (16 points, three rebounds and three assists) also had a say in proceedings. Ringwood’s Jack Barry (32 points, three rebounds and two steals) and Matthew Fennell (28 points) both scored big, whilst Adrien Sturt was enormous with 12 points, 16 rebounds and six assists, and Trevor Latham had eight points and 12 rebounds.

Bendigo Braves (91) def. Dandenong Rangers (89)

Bendigo Braves have won a two-point thriller over Dandenong Rangers to make it a great weekend for the Braves. Back at home after the overtime thriller against the Miners, the Braves put together a more consistent four-quarter effort to claim the victory, 91-89. A Turner basket with four seconds remaining on the clock secured the victory. Turner was unstoppable with 33 points, 14 rebounds, two steals and two blocks, while Rymer (16 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals), Mumtaz (14 points, three assists and two rebounds) and Jacob Foy (11 points, four rebounds and two assists) were all busy. For the Rangers, Sean MacDonald stepped up for 22 points, three assists and two steals, while Oliver Hayes-Brown had a double-double of 14 points, 12 rebounds and four steals. Declan Soukup (15 points, five rebounds and five assists) was also impressive despite the narrow loss.

Waverley Falcons (76) def. Albury-Wodonga Bandits (64)

Another game, another Albury-Wodonga Bandits loss, with the visitors sinking to a fourth straight defeat at the hands of Waverley Falcons who bounced back from that heartbreaking defeat at the hands of Geelong Supercats to open the round, to defeat the Bandits by eight points. The visitors took control in the first half as the Bandits secured a six-point half-time lead, but it was all the home side in the second half, getting to within two points at the final break, before storming away to a 22-6 final term and winning 76-64. De Zwart Forsyth picked up a double-double of 18 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and two blocks, while McDonald (14 points, four rebounds and three steals), Dylan Larkin (12 points, four rebounds, three assists and four steals) and Michael Harper (16 points, two rebounds) were also strong. For the Bandits, Dance was one of the standout players on the court, knocking down 18 points – albeit at just 30.4 per cent from the field – as well as 14 rebounds, while Watson helped himself to a double-double of 13 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Sandringham Sabres (61) def. by North West Tasmania (76)

North West Tasmania made it a memorable trip across the Tasman, as the Thunder went back-to-back knocking over Sandringham Sabres to secure their second win of Round 3. The Thunder did all the damage in the first term to lead by 13 points at the first break, and whilst the Sabres fought hard after that, a 19-13 third quarter extended the lead even further for the visitors to eventually win, 76-61. Bradley Simpson top-scored with 19 points and four rebounds, while Kyle Clark (13 points, seven rebounds), Bragg (nine points, seven assists, four rebounds and two steals) and Chilcott (six points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals) were all prolific in the victory. Nicholas Gabsch had 11 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals for the Sabres, but once again the shooting load was left to Kuany Kuany who produced 21 points – seven of 11 from the field – 10 rebounds and three assists.

Melbourne Tigers (85) def. by Hobart Chargers (108)

Rebounding from their loss the day before, Hobart Chargers took control to win in a four-quarter effort over Melbourne Tigers. The Chargers won every quarter, and scored at least 25 points in each term, securing the 108-85 victory in style. Six players notched up double-figure points, led by Mines (22 points, six rebounds and four assists), while Zachary White (18 points, seven rebounds and two assists), Matthew Young (15 points, six rebounds and two assists), Richards (14 points, six rebounds and two assists) and Stanwix (14 points, four rebounds and four assists) all contributed to the cause. For the Tigers, Willie had the 24 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks in a double-double effort, while von Hofe (18 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals) was everywhere, and Karabatsos (eight points, seven assists and six rebounds) did everything he could across the court.

Picture credit: Ian Wilson Photography

2021 NBL1 South preview: Round 3

ONCE again Frankston Blues play host in our National Basketball League (NBL)1 South women’s match of the round, coming up against an equally stacked side in Launceston Tornadoes, whilst in the men’s we take a look at the Melbourne Tigers playing host to the Hobart Chargers, with both sides sitting at 1-1 heading into Round 3.

WOMEN’S:

Both Frankston Blues and Launceston Tornadoes are undefeated playing in a combined five games in the women’s competition this season. The Blues are sitting pretty at the top of the table with three wins from three games, while the Tornadoes have not dropped a fixture in their opening two matches. Darcee Garbin is leading the league in total points, with the 26-year-old forward putting up 27.7 points, 2.7 assists and 8.3 rebounds per game, shooting at 51.7 per cent from the field. Add to the fact she has hit the 30-point mark twice – in the wins over Nunawading Spectres and Dandenong Rangers – Garbin has proven to be a lethal threat all over the court.

Despite Garbin’s obvious shooting threat, the most balanced player on the side may well be another WNBL talent in Tessa Lavey, who is not that far off a whopping triple-double average. Pulling in 18.3 points, 8.3 assists and 7.7 rebounds per game, Lavey has not wasted any time acclimatising from the AFL Women’s to the basketball court. As the leader of the back court, Lavey is able to transition the ball forward to set up Garbin, and on both occasions has at least eight assists and at least seven rebounds from her first three games. She did have six turnovers last match, so it might be an area she looks to improve, but overall, she is hard to stop. Three other Blues to keep an eye on include Taylah Giliam (12.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists), and rising talents Saraid Taylor and Ella Batish who both average 6.0 points and 4.7 rebounds per game.

Perhaps the only player in better shooting form than Garbin is the far and away leader, Keely Froling. The WNBL sharp shooter has been unstoppable this season, dropping a whopping 35 points per game at 62.5 per cent efficiency from the field. What makes her even more damaging is her ability to live off the boards, with 20.5 per game, and then setting up five baskets per match through assists. She has only played the two games to Garbin’s three, but in those two games has put up 42 and 28 points, and also 22 and 19 rebounds respectively. Add in the three and four steals, and Froling can do it all. She did produce seven turnovers to her two from the first match, so again will be an area she looks to sharpen up.

More dangerously is the fact Launceston will unleash WNBL legend, Kelsey Griffin who will join her UC Capitals teammate in Froling at the Tornadoes. Griffin will suit up for the match, and whilst she has not played yet this season, considering what she does at the elite level, expect her numbers to be similar to Froling depending on her minutes. Mariah Payne is benefiting from the talent around her, quietly achieving with 19 points, eight rebounds and 4.5 assists per game, while D’Asia Chambers is another one to watch with eight points, five rebounds and 2.5 assists per match in the back court. This game is set to be a massive one with serious elite WNBL talents going head-to-head in what promises to be a must-watch contest.

In other matches, the Tornadoes front up against Sandringham Sabres in a second away fixture, with fellow Tasmanian side Hobart Chargers searching for their first win against both Kilsyth Cobras and Melbourne Tigers. The Tigers play another struggling side in the Diamond Valley Eagles (0-3), while Albury-Wodonga Bandits double-up against Knox Raiders and Waverley Falcons. The Falcons also face the winless Geelong Supercats on Friday night, whilst in other matches, Ballarat Rush play host to Bendigo Braves, Eltham Wildcats take on Nunawading Spectres, Mt Gambier Pioneers tackle Ringwood Hawks, and the Braves face Dandenong Rangers.

FIXTURES:

Geelong Supercats (0-2) vs. Waverley Falcons (1-1)
Frankston Blues (3-0) vs. Launceston Tornadoes (2-0)
Knox Raiders (2-0) vs. Albury-Wodonga Bandits (0-2)
Ballarat Rush (2-1) vs. Bendigo Braves (1-1)
Diamond Valley Eagles (0-3) vs. Melbourne Tigers (1-1)
Eltham Wildcats (2-0) vs. Nunawading Spectres (1-1)
Kilsyth Cobras (1-1) vs. Hobart Chargers (0-2)
Mt Gambier Pioneers (0-2) vs. Ringwood Hawks (1-1)
Bendigo Braves (1-1) vs. Dandenong Rangers (1-1)
Waverley Falcons (1-1) vs. Albury-Wodonga Bandits (0-2)
Melbourne Tigers (1-1) vs. Hobart Chargers (0-2)
Sandringham Sabres (2-1) vs. Launceston Tornadoes (2-0)

MEN’S:

Our men’s match of the round is between Melbourne Tigers and Hobart Chargers in what promises to be a beauty of a contest. The Tigers sit at 1-1 from two games despite featuring in the top four for points, assists and blocks, whilst the Chargers have an equally red-hot shooter on their hands, and also have won just the one game from two matches.

This week the shooting contest will be between Tigers’ Felix von Hofe (30.5 points per game) and Chargers’ Jonathan Mines (28.0). Von Hofe is also averaging the five rebounds per game, but is best known as that pinpoint shooter who can be ever damaging from the back court. Putting up 28 and 33 points per game in his first two matches, von Hofe is one the Chargers must look to contain. Similarly, Mines is averaging the three rebounds and a block, steal and assist per match, putting up 31 and 25 points in his two matches thus far.

Both players have support around them, with Keenan Willie among the top playmakers in the competition. Willie is averaging a healthy 6.0 assists – ranking fourth overall – with his 10.5 points and 5.0 rebounds per game, shooting at 53.85 per cent from the field for the Tigers. Similarly, Dogukan Elyazar (14 points, four rebounds) and Lachlan Anthony (8.0 points, 1.5 assists and 1.5 rebounds) are others who have contributed for the home side.

For the Chargers, Koen Sapwell (18.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists) has backed up Mines effectively, while Jack Stanwix (11 points, five assists) has been a contributing factor in scoring, though he has only played the one game against the Ballarat Miners. The Tigers will be favourites at home in this one, but the match could go either way.

In other matches, the Tigers also travel to face Diamond Valley Eagles, whilst the Chargers lock horns with Kilsyth Cobras in another 1-1 clash. Opening the round the Geelong Supercats host Waverley Falcons, before the Falcons play host to Albury-Wodonga Bandits later on the weekend. The Bandits previously take on Knox Raiders to search for their first win, whilst Dandenong Rangers will look for the same result against Bendigo Braves, who take on not only the Rangers, but the Miners as well. North West Tasmania do the double against Frankston Blues and Sandringham Sabres, whilst two teams with opposite formlines coming into the round in Nunawading Spectres and Eltham Wildcats do battle, as Mt Gambier Pioneers also host Ringwood Hawks.

FIXTURES:

Geelong Supercats (2-0) vs. Waverley Falcons (1-1)
Frankston Blues (2-1) vs. North West Tasmania (1-1)
Knox Raiders (1-1) vs. Albury-Wodonga Bandits (0-2)
Ballarat Miners (2-1) vs. Bendigo Braves (1-1)
Diamond Valley Eagles (2-1) vs. Melbourne Tigers (1-1)
Eltham Wildcats (0-2) vs. Nunawading Spectres (2-0)
Kilsyth Cobras (1-1) vs. Hobart Chargers (1-1)
Mt Gambier Pioneers (1-1) vs. Ringwood Hawks (1-1)
Bendigo Braves (1-1) vs. Dandenong Rangers (0-2)
Waverley Falcons (1-1) vs. Albury-Wodonga Bandits (0-2)
Melbourne Tigers (1-1) vs. Hobart Chargers (1-1)
Sandringham Sabres (1-2) vs. North West Tasmania (1-1)

Picture credit: Daniel Papak

NBL1 South Men’s: Round 2 wrap – Miners split results on Apple Isle

ROUND 2 of the National Basketball League (NBL)1 South men’s competition took place over the weekend, with Frankston Blues grabbing back-to-back wins and Ballarat Miners having a mixed bag down in Tasmania.

Bendigo Braves (73) def. by Frankston Blues (94)

Frankston Blues have set up a memorable 21-point win thanks to a fast start on the road against Bendigo Braves. The Blues piled on 54 points to 31 in the opening two quarters to lead by 23 at half-time. The Braves were much better after half-time and even won the final term, but the damage was done, going down 94-73. Lachlan Barker racked up 26 points with seven long-range makes, while Alister MacDonald had the four triples on his way to 14 points, three rebounds and two assists. Dillon Stith (15 points, eight rebounds, two assists and three steals) was influential across the court, while David Andersen (14 points, seven rebounds) used his experience to advantage. Ray Turner was the pick of the Braves, recording 13 points, nine rebounds and two steals, while Brennan Rymer (11 points, six assists and four steals) and Javaan Mumtaz (10 points, three assists) were solid.

Hobart Chargers (81) def. Ballarat Miners (77)

Hobart Chargers have held on in a thrilling contest to defeat Ballarat Miners by four points last Friday night. The Chargers got away to a five-point lead at quarter time which was cut to three by the main break. The home team put it back out to five points at the last change, with the Miners only able to claw back one point in the final term. Koen Sapwell (26 points, three rebounds) and Jonathan Mines (25 points, three rebounds and two blocks), went haywire from long-range, making 11 of 18 from beyond the arc. Jack Stanwix (11 points, five assists and three steals) and Jacob Richards (10 points, seven rebounds and three assists) were the other key scorers for the Chargers. William Hickey knocked down 23 points, six rebounds, six assists and two steals in the loss, while Deng Acuoth picked up 15 points and 10 rebounds in a double-double effort. William Hynes (11 points, four rebounds) and Daniel Joyce (11 points, five rebounds and four assists) were the others to contribute strongly across multiple facets of the game.

North West Tasmania (71) def. by Ballarat Miners (74)

Immediately bouncing back from their Friday night loss, the Miners were forced into another close one with a Tasmanian opponent, this time coming away with an overtime. The teams were locked at 67 points apiece after four quarters following a late Thunder fightback, but the Miners stepped up in overtime, with a Matt Kenyon jumper with five seconds on the clock winning his side the match. Kenyon was the standout player on the court, racking up 27 points, nine rebounds and four assists, while Jock Perry (15 points, seven rebounds) and Acuoth (12 points, nine rebounds) were also lively at both ends. For the Thunder, Paul Campbell top-scored with 18 points, nine rebounds and two assists, while Sejr Deans (13 points, three rebounds and two assists) and Taran Armstrong (nine points, 10 rebounds, three assists and three steals) were steadfast in defeat.

Frankston Blues (110) def. Dandenong Rangers (76)

Making it back-to-back wins in Round 2, Frankston Blues easily took care of Dandenong Ranges. The Blues stormed to a 65-38 lead at half-time, and by the final break held a 38-point advantage. Dandenong won the last term to cut the final margin to 34 points, but the damage was well and truly done by that stage. Andersen picked up 24 points, four rebounds and three assists, while Stith managed the 20 points, 13 rebounds, three assists and two blocks. Barker also feasted on points with 23 in total, as well as five assists, two rebounds and two steals, with Thomas Garrett the other Blues player to reach double-figure points thanks to his 14 and four rebounds. For the Rangers, Declan Soukup had 19 points – five of six from long-range – and four assists, while Sean Macdonald (13 points, four rebounds and two assists) and Oliver Hayes-Brown (12 points, 13 rebounds) both impacted the match.

Knox Raiders (72) def. Kilsyth Cobras (63)

Knox Raiders were able to power away from Kilsyth Cobras in the final term to record a memorable nine-point victory in front of home fans. The Raiders trailed by a point at the last change, but then got to work with a strong defensive effort of 19-9 in the last quarter to run out 72-63 winners. Dylan Hare top-scored with 16 points, six rebounds and two assists, while Abraham Nyok (14 points, seven rebounds), Bul Kuol (13 points, three rebounds and two steals) and Ben Ayre (10 points, two rebounds and two assists) all picked up double-figure points in the win. A double-double from Timothy Lang (16 points, 12 rebounds) was the highlight for the Cobras, while Adrian Tomada (14 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals), Ben Ursich (13 points, six rebounds) and Deng Riak (10 points, eight rebounds) were the other quality players on the night.

Sandringham Sabres (90) def. by Mt Gambier Pioneers (122)

South Australia’s first win in the NBL1 South competition came when Mt Gambier Pioneers took out Sandringham Sabres by 32 points on Saturday night. The Pioneers piled on 64 points to 45 in the opening half to all but set up the win, though they went on with it too, winning the third term by 13 points, and securing the 122-90 victory. Duom Dawam (32 points, 16 rebounds and three assists) was unstoppable across the court, while Thomas Daly (25 points, five assists and four rebounds), Tom Kubank (19 points, five rebounds and three steals) and Nick Marshall (10 points, five rebounds and two assists) were others who stepped up in the victory. For the Sabres, Kuany Kuany was the standout shooter with a double-double of 28 points and 10 rebounds, as well as two assists and two steals. Tom O’Brien (15 points, three assists and two rebounds), Nicholas Gabsch (12 points, six rebounds) and Brody Nunn (14 points, two rebounds and two steals) were the other Sabres who impressed despite the heavy loss.

Eltham Wildcats (76) def. by Diamond Valley Eagles (79)

Diamond Valley Eagles picked up their second consecutive win with a tight three-point victory over Eltham Wildcats. The Eagles trailed by three points at quarter time and five points at the main break, before hitting the front with a 17-11 third term, and then holding on with a 19-17 final quarter for the 79-76 triumph. Darcy Harding was the top scorer with 23 points, nine rebounds and three assists, well supported by Blacio Owili (16 points, seven rebounds) and Ngor Manyang (15 points, four rebounds, three blocks and two assists). Matt Reynolds only had the five points, but picked up 11 assists in a creative effort. The Wildcats had a few contributors as well, with Justin Aver (20 points, two rebounds and two steals) leading the scoring, but Ovie Magbegor picking up the double-double of 11 points and 13 rebounds. Adam Doyle (13 points, seven assists and two rebounds) was also an impressive performer despite the loss.

Albury-Wodonga Bandits (102) def. by Melbourne Tigers (107)

A telling final term set up Melbourne Tigers for a high-scoring five-point win over Albury-Wodonga Bandits on the road. Both teams offences were ticking on the night, and despite the Bandits leading by two points at the final break, the Tigers finished the match stronger, adding 28 points to 21 to win, 107-102. Felix von Hofe had a night out with 33 points, four rebounds and two assists, but he was far from alone, with Anthony Karabatsos (15 points, seven assists and four rebounds), Dogukan Elyazar (14 points, four rebounds) and Keenan Willie (nine points, nine assists, six rebounds and two steals) among the outstanding performers for the Tigers. Mitchell Dance picked up 28 points and nine rebounds in the loss, while Bijan Johnson (21 points, nine assists, five rebounds and three steals), Sharif Watson (16 points, nine rebounds and two steals) and Jack Saunders (15 points, six rebounds and two assists) were all strong.

Ringwood Hawks (81) def. by Geelong Supercats (85)

Geelong Supercats have posted a nail-biting four-point win over Ringwood Hawks thanks to a dominant third quarter. Despite not winning any of the other three terms, and trailing by nine points at the half, the Supercats piled on 29 points to 12 in the third quarter, setting them up for an 85-81 win. Isaac Turner was huge from beyond the arc with five of 11, on his way to 35 points, three rebounds and two assists. Mawut Macar Deng (15 points, six rebounds), Liam McInerney (11 points, 10 rebounds and four assists) and Jack Macdonald (14 points – four of eight from long-range – four assists and two steals) were also impressive. The Hawks were led by the damaging duo of Adrien Sturt (23 points, 12 rebounds and two steals) and CJ Asuncion-Byrd (27 points, four rebounds and three assists), while Jack Barry (11 points, seven rebounds) and Shaun Clarke (11 points, four rebounds) were also solid on the day.

Nunawading Spectres (96) def. Sandringham Sabres (61)

A strong start from the home team helped propel Nunawading Spectres to victory over Sandringham Sabres, handing the visitors their second loss of the weekend. The Spectres poured on 31 points to 14 in the opening quarter, then did it again in the third with 31 points to 10, which created the separation required for the 96-61 thumping. Tom Wright led the way with 29 points, five assists, two rebounds and two steals, while Simon Conn came close to a double-double with 13 points, nine rebounds and four assists. Costa Hronopoulos (13 points, seven rebounds and two assists) and Jack Gandolfo (12 points, five assists, two rebounds and two steals) were others who stepped up to help the cause. Kuany was again a lone-hand in terms of scoring, racking up a ridiculous 24 points and 17 rebounds, as well as four assists. Clancy Bird (10 points) was the only other scorer of note, as the Sabres were smashed across most facets of the game.

Waverley Falcons (79) def. Diamond Valley Eagles (72)

Waverley Falcons ended the run of the Diamond Valley Eagles at two, by saluting in a seven-point game. The Falcons led by 10 points at quarter time, but then found themselves trailing by a point at the main break. The second half swung back in the home team’s favour, winning both quarters by four points to get up, 79-72. Bennie Lewis put up 27 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals, while Jake Heath (18 points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals), Michael Harper (13 points, five rebounds and three assists) and Durrell McDonald (11 points, four rebounds, four assists and four steals) also had impressive efforts. For the Eagles, Owili managed the 23 points and 11 rebounds in a standalone effort, while Manyang picked up 11 points and five rebounds in the loss.

Picture credit: Rodney Turton

2021 NBL1 South preview: Round 2

ROUND 2 of the National Basketball League (NBL) South tips off from tomorrow night, with our two feature games being the Frankston Blues up against Dandenong Ranges on Saturday (women’s) and Nunawading Specres locking horns with Sandringham Sabres on Sunday (men’s).

WOMEN’S:

An early clash between two local rivals sees Frankston Blues up against Dandenong Rangers at Frankston Basketball Stadium from 5:30pm on Saturday evening. At the start of the round both these teams come in undefeated, though a Friday night clash with Bendigo Braves could change that for the Blues, in one of four all-undefeated clashes. The Blues are fresh off a hard-fought win over Nunawading Spectres by 12 points, whilst the Rangers got away with a 14-point victory over Diamond Valley Eagles on the road in Round 1.

In the Blues’ win, WNBL duo Darcee Garbin and Tessa Lavey caused all sorts of headaches for the Spectres, combining for 53 of the teams’ 90 points on the night. Garbin had a match-high 30 points, shooting 11 of 16 from the field, but crucially a whopping six of eight from long-range. She also picked up six rebounds and thee assists for her troubles. Lavey, coming off an AFLW season with Richmond, did not miss a beat with 23 points – three of eight from three-point range – seven rebounds and nine assists, not too far off an almost triple-double let alone a double-double.

Taylah Gilliam (11 points, two rebounds and three assists) and Ella Batish (eight points, six rebounds) also proved capable of causing trouble for the opposition. Statistically the Blues dominated the assist tally with 21-10, as most of the other stats were fairly even, though hitting more than half of their long-range attempts was crucial, as the Spectres only managed three of 20 compared to the Blues’ 18 of 35.

The Rangers always looked in control against the Eagles at Community Bank Stadium, as Emilee Harmon picked up a double-double of 26 points and 10 rebounds, as well as two steals. Able to crash the boards, Harmon teamed up well with rising star talent Gemma Potter. The youngster racked up a double-double herself of 14 points and 13 rebounds, as well as five assists, three steals and two blocks in the win. Tenaya Sooalo (18 points, four rebounds and three assists) and Kodie Myszka (seven points, four rebounds and two steals) were others who stood out.

The Rangers led the way in rebounds with a plus-seven in that statistical area, something they will be keen to apply here again. They were not a huge three-point shooting outfit, though made the most of it with six of 17 makes. They need to improve their work from the charity stripe, finishing Round 1 with a 50 per cent efficiency, but the visitors still got away with the win. It will be a focus if they are to take down the Blues on their home court.

The other two undefeated clashes see Knox Raiders hosting Kilsyth Cobras, and Launceston Tornadoes up against Ballarat Rush. After each team played the one game in Round 1, a number of sides will double up, with the Rush also taking on Hobart Chargers in a weekend down in Tasmania, while the Diamond Valley Eagles will hope to pick up their first win against either Eltham Wildcats or Waverley Falcons on Saturday and Sunday respectively.

Sandringham Sabres have two chances to pick up another win after going 1-0 in Round 1, taking on Mt Gambier Pioneers and then travelling to take on Nunawading Spectres. In the other two matches, Albury Wodonga Bandits host Melbourne Tigers, and Ringwood Hawks face Geelong Supercats in two battles between sides yet to taste victory this season.

FIXTURES:

Bendigo Braves (1-0) vs. Frankston Blues (1-0)
Hobart Chargers (0-1) vs. Ballarat Rush (1-0)
Frankston Blues (1-0) vs. Dandenong Rangers (1-0)
Knox Raiders (1-0) vs. Kilsyth Cobras (1-0)
Sandringham Sabres (1-0) vs. Mt Gambier Pioneers (0-1)
Eltham Wildcats (1-0) vs. Diamond Valley Eagles (0-1)
Albury Wodonga Bandits (0-1) vs. Melbourne Tigers (0-1)
Ringwood Hawks (0-1) vs. Geelong Supercats (0-1)
Launceston Tornadoes (1-0) vs. Ballarat Rush (1-0)
Nunawading Spectres (0-1) vs. Sandringham Sabres (1-0)
Waverley Falcons (0-1) vs. Diamond Valley Eagles (0-1)

MEN’S:

There are plenty of blockbuster fixtures to pick from when it comes to match of the round, but this week we take a look at the Sunday head-to-head between Nunawading Spectres and Sandringham Sabres who both won their first round encounters. The Sabres opened the NBL1 competition with a thrilling three-point win over Melbourne Tigers on the road, while the Spectres got up by 11 points over Frankston Blues in a similar tough challenge heading down to bayside.

The Sabres did the bulk of their good work early against the Tigers at Melbourne Sports & Aquatic Centre, as the visitors piled on 50 points to 38 in the opening half, before the Tigers roared to life, scoring 56 to 47. No doubt while the 97-94 victory was a relief, the Sabres will want more of the first half, and less of the second half in the Round 2 clash with the Spectres. The Sabres dominated the rebounds with 51-38 in that game, but struggled with transition, picking up eight assists – though in a low assist game of 10-8 – and only had two steals to the Tigers’ 10. They made it count from the field however, shooting 47.2 per cent, including 43.8 per cent from long-range, and only missing one of 16 free throws.

The points were shared around in an even spread as Kuany Kuany (20 points, nine rebounds and two assists) and Nicholas Gabsch (18 points, eight rebounds and two assists) both came close to a double-double. Tom O’Brien was handy with 17 points – including seven of eight from the field – also picking up two rebounds and two assists. Kobe Davies was the other player to reach double-figure points, knocking down three of five from long-range to finish with 13 points and three rebounds.

By comparison the Spectres held firm across four quarters against the Blues to come from three points down at quarter time to lead by two at half-time, then run away with an 11-point lead by the final buzzer. The full scores and individual statistics are still unavailable at this stage, but Dain Swetalla was well on his way to a double-double alongside partner-in-crime Simon Conn. The pair will make life difficult for the opposition teams this year, while Costas Hronopoulos and Tom Wright are among the other Spectres to keep an eye on.

The Spectres should be a strong rebounding team, and will look to get plenty of points in the paint, backing themselves to nail the free-throw opportunities. They can move the ball in transition, with their stars able to stuff the stats sheet on their day, and Nunawading has enough depth to share the load, particularly in front of a home crowd.

Casting the eye across other fixtures, the Sabres have an earlier home fixture against Mt Gambier Pioneers, meaning the Spectres will come in the fresher side. Diamond Valley Eagles also do the double after winning their Round 1 match, coming up against two Round 1 losers in Eltham Wildcats and Waverley Falcons. After a thrilling one-point win in Round 1, Kilsyth Cobras travel to Knox Raiders, while the winless pairing of Frankston Blues – who take on Bendigo Braves tomorrow night – and Dandenong Rangers looms as a must-watch.

Ballarat Miners head to the Apple Isle to face Hobart Chargers tomorrow night, before a big clash with North West Tasmania on Saturday. The Melbourne Tigers make the trek to the border to take on Albury Wodonga Bandits, while in the final game, Ringwood Hawks host Geelong Supercats in another all-undefeated clash on Saturday.

FIXTURES:

Bendigo Braves (1-0) vs. Frankston Blues (0-1)
Hobart Chargers (0-1) vs. Ballarat Miners (1-0)
North West Tasmania (1-0) vs. Ballarat Miners (1-0)
Frankston Blues (0-1) vs. Dandenong Rangers (0-1)
Knox Raiders (0-1) vs. Kilsyth Cobras (1-0)
Sandringham Sabres (1-0) vs. Mt Gambier Pioneers (0-1)
Eltham Wildcats (0-1) vs. Diamond Valley Eagles (1-0)
Albury Wodonga Bandits (0-1) vs. Melbourne Tigers (0-1)
Ringwood Hawks (1-0) vs. Geelong Supercats (1-0)
Nunawading Spectres (1-0) vs. Sandringham Sabres (1-0)
Waverley Falcons (0-1) vs. Diamond Valley Eagles (1-0)

Picture credit: Frankston Blues