MUVJBL U18 Girls weekend preview: Round 8

PLENTY of possibilities are being thrown around ahead of the final fortnight before the championship-reserve grade split in the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under 18 Girls competition. The top five teams from each pool stay in the championship division, while the bottom five sides from each pool head into the reserve grade.

Ashe Pool:

Dandenong Rangers (4th, 4-3) vs. Diamond Valley (3rd, 5-2)
Kilsyth Cobras (6th, 3-3)* vs. Nunawading Spectres 2 (7th, 3-4)
Southern Peninsula Sharks (5th, 4-3) vs. McKinnon Cougars (10th, 0-7)
Knox Raiders (1st, 6-0)* vs. Frankston Blues (8th, 2-5)
Bulleen Boomers (snd, 6-1) vs. Pakenham Warriors (9th, 1-6)

In the Ashe Pool, the top two sides – Knox Raiders and Bulleen Boomers – are secured in making the championship division, regardless of the result between the Raiders and Kilsyth Cobras. The Cobras on the other hand are nervously waiting over the next two weeks, sitting sixth and in a log-jam with Nunawading Spectres 2 and Southern Peninsula Sharks. The Sharks face the bottom two sides over the last fortnight, so expect them to safely be in the championship division, with the Cobras and Spectres’ best chances coming from Diamond Valley Eagles taking on Dandenong Rangers. The Rangers are just one win ahead of them, and a loss, along with the winner of the Cobras and Spectres game, would put them on level pegging after eight round. The loser will likely be out of contention, however. In the final round, both sides face top three teams, and would almost certainly need an upset considering Dandenong face the winless McKinnon Cougars in the final round. The three confirmed sides to make the reserve division when they split are Frankston Blues, Pakenham Warriors and the Cougars.

Watson Pool:

Warrandyte Venom (10th, 0-7) vs. Keilor Thunder (7th, 3-4)
Hawthorn Magic (2nd, 5-1-1) vs. Geelong Supercats (4th, 4-3)
Broadmeadows Broncos (6th, 3-4) vs. Bendigo Braves (3rd, 5-2)
Dandenong Rangers 2 (8th, 2-5) vs. Melbourne Tigers (9th, 1-5-1)
Nunawading Spectres (5th, 4-3) vs. Altona Gators (1st, 7-0)

In the Watson Pool, three teams are out of the hunt for the championship division, while three teams are secure, leaving two spots for the remaining four sides. Altona Gators, Hawthorn Magic and Bendigo Braves have been the three top teams all season and have locked away their places, while Dandenong Rangers 2, Melbourne Tigers and Warrandyte Venom are all bound for the reserve grade. In Round 8’s top games, Nunawading Spectres has an uphill battle against Altona as they cling to fifth spot. Their percentage is what is helping the Spectres hang on, and barring an absolute belting and a massive win to Broadmeadows Broncos, they still hold fifth spot at the end of the round. The Broncos play the third placed Braves anyway, which is no easy task. Keilor Thunder who are equal with the Broncos and would be expected to draw equal with the Spectres after the round, face the winless Warrandyte Venom. Geelong Supercats are the other side on four wins from seven games, and take on second placed Hawthorn in a tough game. If they lose, it likely means three and up to four sides are on four wins from eight games. Geelong takes on Warrandyte, Nunawading takes on Melbourne Tigers and Keilor Thunder takes on Dandenong Rangers 2 which all three sides would be favourite for in the last round. Broadmeadows takes on Altona which makes it tough, meaning percentage will likely come into it.

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