FOUR sides are battling for the final spot in the Ashe Pool qualification, while the Watson Pool is settled in the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under 16 Girls competition heading into Round 9.
Diamond Valley Eagles (1st, 7-1) vs. Kilsyth Cobras (5th, 3-5)
Dandenong Rangers (2nd, 7-1) vs. Ringwood Hawks (9th, 2-6)
Waverley Falcons (8th, 3-5) vs. Ballarat Rush (4th, 5-3)
Bellarine Storm (7th, 3-5) vs. Keilor Thunder (3rd, 6-2)
Sunbury Jets (10th, 1-7) vs. Hawthorn Magic (6th, 3-5)
In the competitive Ashe grade, the flow-on effect will be in play, with Kilsyth having the first opportunity to book a championship division spot. The Cobras have the best percentage and currently hold the spot, but have to face the top-of-the-table Diamond Valley Eagles. If they lose, the next team up is sixth placed Hawthorn Magic who would be favourites to take the final spot given they face last placed Sunbury Jets. If the Jets cause an upset, Bellarine Storm is next in line, but face third placed Keilor Thunder who cannot move from third. In a Bradbury-esque scenario, Waverley Falcons could take fifth spot if all three teams above them fall over. The most likely scenario based on ladder positions is Hawthorn snatching fifth.
Bendigo Braves (6th, 3-5) vs. Knox Raiders (5th, 4-3-1)
Altona Gators (10th, 2-6) vs. Bulleen Boomers (1st, 7-0-1)
Melbourne Tigers (4th, 5-3) vs. Frankston Blues (8th, 2-6)
Nunawading Spectres (2nd, 6-2) vs. Eltham Wildcats (7th, 2-6)
Sandringham Sabres (3rd, 6-2) vs. Southern Peninsula Sharks (9th, 2-6)
In the Watson Pool, the stakes are lower with all five teams booked into the championship division. Bulleen Boomers, Nunawading Spectres, Sandringham Sabres, Melbourne Tigers and Knox Raiders will all advance, with results to determine which order, though the Boomers are guaranteed top spot. Bendigo Braves are the unlucky sixth side and will finish there, while pride is on the line for Eltham Wildcats, Frankston Blues, Southern Peninsula Sharks and Altona Gators who cannot move out of the bottom four, but can gain some bragging rights ahead of the reserve grade split after the long weekend.