NATIONAL Basketball League (NBL)1 players will eye off a break after Round 9 with the Queen’s Birthday long weekend a welcome rest from the competition past the midway point of the season. The final game before the break for Hobart Huskies is under lights tomorrow night at home, when the thirteenth placed Huskies take on the third placed Geelong Supercats. The Supercats also face North West Thunder the next day as part of their Tasmanian trip.
Albury Wodonga Bandits play top four sides Nunawading Spectres and Melbourne Tigers in what will be a huge test for the Bandits over the weekend. They host the Spectres before travelling to face the Tigers the next day. Frankston Blues’ clash with Ballarat Miners on Sunday is set to be a beauty with the Blues having won five consecutive games against a Miners side that has only dropped one game for the season and top the table. Both sides also play on Saturday, with the Miners hosting the lowly Ringwood Hawks, while the Blues travel to take on the bottom four Diamond Valley Eagles.
Kilsyth Cobras will hit the road twice over Saturday and Sunday, facing sixteenth placed Eltham Wildcats who have found a little bit of form with back-to-back wins, as well as ninth placed Waverley Falcons who are coming off a loss last round. Bendigo Braves do the double over the weekend with must-win games against the bottom two sides in Ringwood Hawks and Southern Sabres, as the Braves are desperate to snap their three-game losing streak. Meanwhile in the other game, fourteenth placed Knox Raiders will look to cause an upset against sixth placed Dandenong Rangers at home.
Looking at the top points scorers this year, Albury-Wodonga’s Ken-Jah Bosely averages the most, with 24.7 points, ahead of Hobart’s Jalen Adams (23.4) and Southern Sabres’ David Barlow (23.0). In terms of rebounds, Melbourne’s Dane Pineau (15.4 per game) is ahead of Albury-Wodonga’s Torren Jones (13.5), and Bendigo’s Ray Turner (12.5). The biggest playmakers are Nunawading’s Shane McDonald and Ringwood’s Joey Miller, who are averaging 7.3 and 6.8 assists per game respectively. Adams is the biggest thief in the NBL1, stealing the ball 3.2 times per game, while Frankston’s Najeel Young and Geelong’s Demarcus Gatlin do it 2.5 times per game. In terms of blocks, Deng Acuoth is in a world of his own, with the Ballarat Miners’ big man averaging 4.1 per game, almost two more than the next highest rebounder, Eltham’s Josh Sykes.
Friday, May 31:
Hobart Huskies (13th, 4-6) vs. Geelong Supercats (3rd, 7-5)
Saturday, June 1:
Albury Wodonga Bandits (12th, 5-5) vs. Nunawading Spectres (2nd, 8-3)
Ballarat Miners (1st, 9-1) vs. Ringwood Hawks (17th, 3-7)
Bendigo Braves (10th, 5-6) vs. Southern Sabres (18th, 2-9)
Diamond Valley Eagles (15th, 4-8) vs. Frankston Blues (8th, 6-4)
Eltham Wildcats (16th, 4-7) vs. Kilsyth Cobras (7th, 6-4)
Knox Raiders (14th, 4-6) vs. Dandenong Rangers (6th, 6-6)
North West Thunder (11th, 5-6) vs. Geelong Supercats (3rd, 7-5)
Sunday, June 2:
Frankston Blues (8th, 6-4) vs. Ballarat Miners (1st, 9-1)
Melbourne Tigers (4th, 7-4) vs. Albury Wodonga Bandits (12th, 5-5)
Ringwood Hawks (17th, 3-7) vs. Bendigo Braves (10th, 5-6)
Waverley Falcons (9th, 6-4) vs. Kilsyth Cobras (7th, 6-4)