A huge weekend of National Basketball League (NBL)1 kicks off tomorrow night with the 16th placed Eltham Wildcats hosting the Basketball Australia CoE in 15th at Eltham High School. With only two rounds left of the regular season, teams are more determined than ever to lock down a top-four position. The Bendigo Braves will follow up the night, facing the Albury Wodonga Bandits and hoping to keep their top-eight spot as we near the end of the season.
On Saturday, the Hobart Huskies open the fixture against Basketball Australia. The Huskies sit just one spot out of the eight, hoping to get an easy win against the lower-ranked side. The Nunawading Spectres will look to hold their spot in second against a formidable, fifth-placed Kilsyth Cobras. The night continues with the Ringwood Hawks going up against North West Thunder at home, with the Knox Raiders looking likely to ruin Bendigo’s final chances with a win at home. The Ballarat Miners should have an easy outing at home where they face the 10th placed Waverley Falcons, while Albury Wodonga Bandits shape up for their second game of the weekend against a finals ready, Dandenong Rangers. With teams knocking one win behind Dandenong in ninth and 10th, the Rangers will hope to avoid a poor result.
On Sunday, the Diamond Valley Eagles open things up with a home-game against the North West Thunder. Kilsyth Cobras look to go back-to-back against the Frankston Blues, with a win over the dominant side likely snaring them a top-four spot – while a win for the Blues sees them contest for second spot at seven consecutive wins. To continue the night, the Southern Sabres take on Basketball Australia, with the Waverley Falcons hoping for their second positive result for the weekend over the Knox Raiders – still being a small chance of making finals. Similarly, the Melbourne Tigers face the Hobart Huskies in a must-win game for the final match of the round. A win for either side drastically betters their chances come finals, while a loss possibly ruining their contention.
Round 14 Fixtures:
Friday July 12:
Eltham Wildcats (16th, 6-11) vs. Basketball Australia CoE (15th, 7-10)
Bendigo Braves (7th, 9-8) vs. Albury Wodonga Bandits (11th, 7-10)
Saturday, July 13:
Hobart Huskies (9th, 8-9) vs. Basketball Australia CoE (15th, 7-10)
Nunawading Spectres (2nd, 13-5) vs. Kilsyth Cobras (5th, 10-7)
Ringwood Hawks (17th, 5-13) vs. North West Thunder (12th, 7-10)
Knox Raiders (14th, 7-10) vs. Bendigo Braves (7th, 9-8)
Ballarat Miners (1st, 16-2) vs. Waverley Falcons (10th, 8-8)
Albury Wodonga Bandits (11th, 7-10) vs. Dandenong Rangers (6th, 9-8)
Sunday, July 14:
Diamond Valley Eagles (13th, 7-11) vs. North West Thunder (12th, 7-10)
Kilsyth Cobras (5th, 10-7) vs. Frankston Blues (3rd, 12-6)
Southern Sabres (18th, 4-13) vs. Basketball Australia CoE (15th, 7-10)
Waverley Falcons (10th, 8-8) vs. Knox Raiders (14th, 7-10)
Melbourne Tigers (8th, 9-8) vs. Hobart Huskies (9th, 8-9)
In the women’s competition, the Bendigo Braves kick off the round against the Albury Wodonga Bandits with the intention of taking top spot back from the Geelong Supercats. The Braves boast a huge nine consecutive win streak, have suffered just one loss this season and sit three wins above third – locking in their top-two finish for finals. In eighth, a win for Bandits will keep finals alive, and with the Eltham Wildcats (ninth) facing the 16th placed, Basketball Australia to cap off Friday’s fixture, a win should keep the Wildcats from passing them.
On Saturday, we open the night with the Hobart Huskies hosting Basketball Australia in Tasmania, followed close by one of the games of the round with the Nunawading Spectres taking on the Kilsyth Cobras – both sides looking to snare a top-four finish. The Albury Wodonga Bandits will follow up the night against the Dandenong Rangers. The Rangers have suffered losses in their last two outings, and the Bandits will have likely come off a difficult contest against the Braves. A win keeps the finals alive for either team. The Waverley Falcons will continue Saturday’s fixture, travelling to Ballarat for a must-win contest against the Rush. Similarly, the Knox Raiders host the Bendigo Braves, where they hope to win with their top-four finish on the line. A team also contesting for a high finish are the Ringwood Hawks, who come up against the Launceston Tornadoes for the last of Saturday’s games.
We open the fixture on Sunday with the Diamond Valley Eagles facing the Launceston Tornadoes in a fight to stay off the bottom. The Kilsyth Cobras look to end the Frankston Blues finals chances and challenge for the top-four in the game following. The Southern Sabres continue with a match at home against Basketball Australia, while the Knox Raiders aim to knock off the Waverley Falcons on the road. The Melbourne Tigers will close out the Round 14 with a match at home against the Hobart Huskies.
Round 14 Fixtures:
Friday July 12:
Bendigo Braves (2nd, 16-1) vs. Albury Wodonga Bandits (8th, 9-8)
Eltham Wildcats (9th, 8-9) vs. Basketball Australia (16th, 3-14)
Saturday July 13:
Hobart Huskies (14th, 6-11) vs. Basketball Australia (16th, 3-14)
Nunawading Spectres (6th, 12-6) vs. Kilsyth Cobras (5th, 12-5)
Albury Wodonga Bandits (8th, 9-8) vs. Dandenong Rangers (7th, 10-7)
Ballarat Rush (13th, 7-11) vs. Waverley Falcons (11th, 7-9)
Knox Raiders (3rd, 13-4) vs. Bendigo Braves (2nd, 16-1)
Ringwood Hawks (4th, 13-5) vs. Launceston Tornadoes (17th, 3-14)
Sunday July 14:
Diamond Valley Eagles (18th, 2-16) vs. Launceston Tornadoes (17th, 3-14)
Kilsyth Cobras (5th, 12-5) vs. Frankston Blues (10th 7-11)
Southern Sabres (15th, 4-13) vs. Basketball Australia (16th, 3-14)
Waverley Falcons (11th, 7-9) vs. Knox Raiders (3rd, 13-4)
Melbourne Tigers (12th, 7-10) vs. Hobart Huskies (14th, 6-11)