MUVJBL Under 18 Boys weekend preview: Round 5

A MASSIVE round of Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under 18 Boys championship has the top-of-the-table sides going head to head in both pools. Dandenong Rangers and Kilsyth Cobras face off in the Ashe Pool and one will have to head home without points for the first time this season, while Melbourne Tigers will hope to bounce back from their first loss last week to hand Nunawading Spectres their first defeat of the season.

Ashe Pool:

Dandenong Rangers 2 (9th, 0-4) vs. Collingwood All Stars (10th, 0-4)
Bendigo Braves (6th, 2-2) vs. Waverley Falcons (5th, 2-2)
Kilsyth Cobras (2nd, 4-0) vs. Dandenong Rangers (1st, 4-0)
Bulleen Boomers (4th, 2-2) vs. Eltham Wildcats (7th, 2-2)
Werribee Devils (3rd, 3-1) vs. Geelong Supercats (8th, 1-3)

The top-of-the-table clash between Kilsyth and Dandenong in the headline act with both side not missing a beat this season. Dandenong’s offensive ability has been unbelievable, scoring 316 points, 61 more than the second placed Cobras, but Kilsyth’s defence is ranked first in the league with just 186 points against. Interestingly, neither side has a dominant scorer, with Roosevelt Williams (13.5 points per game) and Leyi Adebayo (11.7) the top scorers for Kilsyth and Melbourne respectively. But with Rangers Riley Simmons and Josh Heywood, and Cobras David Okwera and Lachlan Vandervorm also averaging more than 10 points per game, it makes for a fascinating contest given the wide variety of scoring power.

Another game that could be one to watch is down the other end of the table with Dandenong Rangers 2 taking on Collingwood All Stars in a battle of the winless sides. After Geelong Supercats knocked off the Rangers second side last week, the Rangers will be keen to grab their first win of the season, while the All Stars have been competitive on the scoring front, but have conceded 277 points, the second most in the pool. Talking of scoring, Darrien Herbert‘s Werribee Devils are looking to do plenty of that against the Supercats, with the prolific scorer having nailed 69 points so far this season, at an average of 17.3 per game. Hamish Carey has been the standout scorer for Geelong with 11.8 per game in his four matches. In other games, sixth placed Bendigo Braves host fifth placed Werribee Falcons, and fourth placed Bulleen Boomers take on seventh placed Eltham Wildcats with all four sides split at two wins, two losses.

Watson Pool:

Casey Cavaliers (8th, 1-3) vs. Hawthorn Magic (9th, 0-4)
Diamond Valley Eagles (3rd, 3-1) vs. Keilor Thunder (5th, 3-1)
Knox Raiders (7th, 1-3) vs. Ballarat Miners (4th, 3-1)
Nunawading Spectres (1st, 4-0) vs. Melbourne Tigers (2nd, 3-1)
Ringwood Hawks (10th, 0-4) vs. Korumburra Wildcats (6th, 2-2)

The Watson Pool also has a number of enticing matches with another top-of-the-table clash between the undefeated Nunawading Spectres hosting the Melbourne Tigers. Melbourne went down to Ballarat by five points last week and will be keen to bounce back, and have the defensive ability to do so with just 201 points conceded, the least of any side in the pool. With one per cent separating the sides, expect the contest to be thrilling with top spot on the line for the winner. James Roche (14.3 points per game) leads the way for scoring at Nunawading, while at Melbourne Patrick Twigg has been the dominant shooter (11.5).

A third against fifth clash with Diamond Valley Eagles hosting Keilor Thunder is another beauty for Friday night, as both teams look to keep in touch with top spot. Matt Marasco has sunk 61 points at an average of 15.3 per game for the Eagles, while Paul Tsapatolis has been the man to stop at Keilor, posting 18.7 per game in the three recorded games – last week’s scores are yet to be confirmed. The leading scorer in the competition is Keith Robinson who has delivered 83 points at an average of 20.8 and the Korumburra Wildcats’ shooter is keen to lead his side to its third consecutive win when the Wildcats meet cellar dwellers Ringwood Hawks at home. In other matches, eighth placed Casey Cavaliers will meet the competitive Hawthorn Magic in a bottom three clash, while fourth placed Ballarat Miners, fresh off a super win over Melbourne, will travel to face Knox Raiders who are 1-3 for the season.

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