ONE game is already in the books and another 10 are still to come in the National Basketball League (NBL)1 women’s competition over an extended round of action. Last night, Geelong Supercats knocked off a brave Ballarat Rush to triumph by 12 points and extend their lead on top, while extinguishing the Rush’s top eight hopes at the same time. Both sides have another game remaining in the round – on Saturday – with the Supercats facing Ringwood Hawks in what could be a potential qualifying final come playoffs, while the Rush could look to end the finals hopes of Hobart Huskies at home. The Huskies also have a tough game against Kilsyth Cobras tomorrow night at home in what should be a thrilling contest. The Cobras sit sixth with hopes of a double chance, then take on Launceston Tornadoes on Saturday.
Another massive match of the round is third placed Knox Raiders hosting fifth placed Nunawading Spectres, with the Spectres needing a win to remain in touch with the top four, while Knox will all but join Geelong and Bendigo Braves as teams with double chances heading into the end-of-month finals series. Speaking of the Braves, they host last placed Diamond Valley Eagles in what should be a fairly straightforward win on Saturday, but the Eagles will be keen to get off the bottom of the table with a massive upset. Also remaining in contention for a top four spot, albeit only just, is Dandenong Rangers who travel to Waverley on Sunday to meet the eleventh placed Falcons who have to win all their remaining games to have any realistic chance of making finals.
Albury Wodonga Bandits can personally put the final nail in Eltham Wildcats’ coffin with a victory over the eighth placed team. The Bandits sit two wins clear of the Wildcats and Melbourne Tigers, and a win would knock Eltham out of contention for the year. Melbourne also needs to take care of thirteenth placed Frankston Blues or they will join the Wildcats, with wins to both the Bandits and Blues as good as locking away the top eight – barring mathematical possibility scenarios. In the remaining game for the round, the Blues host Southern Sabres on Sunday in a match that will not have any bearing on the finals race, but could give the Sabres some breathing space at the top of the bottom four sides.
Round 13 fixtures:
Wednesday, July 3:
Ballarat Rush 70 defeated by Geelong Supercats 82
Friday, July 5:
Hobart Huskies (12th, 6-9) vs. Kilsyth Cobras (6th, 10-5)
Saturday, July 6:
Bendigo Braves (2nd, 15-1) vs. Diamond Valley Eagles (18th, 2-15)
Frankston Blues (13th, 6-10) vs. Melbourne Tigers (9th, 7-9)
Knox Raiders (3rd, 13-3) vs. Nunawading Spectres (5th, 11-6)
Albury Wodonga Bandits (8th, 9-7) vs. Eltham Wildcats (10th, 7-9)
Ballarat Rush (14th, 6-11) vs. Hobart Huskies (12th, 6-9)
Ringwood Hawks (4th, 12-5) vs. Geelong Supercats (1st, 17-1)
Launceston Tornadoes (16th, 3-13) vs. Kilsyth Cobras (6th, 10-5)
Sunday, July 7:
Frankston Blues (13th, 6-10) vs. Southern Sabres (15th, 3-13)
Waverley Falcons (11th, 6-9) vs. Dandenong Rangers (7th, 10-6)