ROUND 8 of the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) could finalise the championship and reserve grades of the Under 16 Boys with the split coming in a fortnight and the final positions hinging on the results of this round.
Bendigo Braves (3rd, 5-2) vs. Whittlesea Pacers (10th, 1-6)
Diamond Valley Eagles (8th, 2-5) vs. Dandenong Rangers (4th, 4-3)
Nunawading Spectres (9th, 1-6) vs. Knox Raiders (1st, 7-0)
Keilor Thunder (5th, 4-3) vs. Eltham Wildcats 2 (6th, 3-4)
Latrobe Energy (2nd, 5-2) vs. Southern Peninsula Sharks (7th, 3-4)
In the Ashe Pool, Knox Raiders have emerged as the clear standout team, two wins ahead of any other side and the one to beat, along with Bulleen Boomers come the two-grade split. They would be expected to take care of Nunawading Spectres this round, and will have a great tussle with Bendigo the week after. The Braves have already qualified for the grade, as have Latrobe Energy, with the top five sides making it through. Dandenong Rangers and Keilor Thunder side in fourth and fifth spots which are under threat, but Keilor can all but guarantee themselves a spot if they can knock off Eltham Wildcats 2 this weekend. It would knock the Wildcats out of contention, while the other team vying for a top five spot, Southern Peninsula Sharks, face the Energy. If the Rangers also defeat Diamond Valley Eagles, then the top five will be settled heading into the final round, regardless of results.
Geelong Supercats (2nd, 5-1-1) vs. Hawthorn Magic (6th, 3-4)
Casey Cavaliers (8th, 1-5-1) vs. Sunbury Jets (10th, 0-7)
Melbourne Tigers (7th, 2-5) vs. Kilsyth Cobras (9th, 1-5-1)
Bulleen Boomers (1st, 7-0) vs. Pakenham Warriors (3rd, 5-1-1)
Waverley Falcons (5th, 4-3) vs. Eltham Wildcats (4th, 5-2)
In the Watson Pool, Bulleen can gain some bragging rights over Pakenham Warriors who are all but safe in the grade barring two losses and then two wins to Hawthorn Magic. The Magic have their own problems to overcome, facing off against Geelong Supercats who are locked into the top five thanks to their percentage. Speaking of percentage, fifth placed Waverley Falcons has a very healthy percentage, and one win is enough to see them secured in top spot. They do face fourth placed Eltham Wildcats this round, and can take their spot with a win. If they do win, the top five in the Watson Pool will also be secure. But the one scenario where that is not the case, is if Waverley lose and Hawthorn upset the Supercats, drawing level with the Falcons and being percentage behind. Both sides face lowly sides in the last round, with Waverley hardly expected to drop the game to the winless Sunbury Jets, while Hawthorn should get past Melbourne Tigers, although that game could go either way. Casey Cavaliers, Kilsyth Cobras, the Jets and Tigers are all bound for the reserve grade, regardless of result.