THE week off did no favours for the qualifying final winners of the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-18 Boys Championship Division, as Melbourne Tigers and Bulleen Boomers upstaged Nunawading Spectres and Kilsyth Cobras respectively. After smashing the Dandenong Rangers in the qualifying final, Kilsyth looked the team to beat, but was on the end of a smashing itself last Friday, while Nunawading went down by six points to the reformed Tigers who now loom as the favourites in the clash.
Nunawading Spectres 60 defeated by Melbourne Tigers 66
Melbourne Tigers get the better of the Nunawading Spectres (60-66). Despite conceding 29 points in the opener, Melbourne remained in touch as they tied the scores at 38-38 leading into half-time. The Spectres kept strong into the third, but slipped in the fourth, recording their second term under 10 points (7) for the game. The return of Joshua Giddey continues to prove immense for the Tigers. The 199cm, NBA Global Academy guard controlled the floor on his way to a game-high 25 points, while Ezrah Vaigafa (12), Charles Lockwood (11) and Patrick Twigg (10) also proved reliable in the paint. For the Spectres, James Roche held his own with 17 points to finish his season in fifth spot for points per game (PPG). Curtis Brecko, Matthew Martini and Jack Dammers also finished off their season well, recording 11 points each in the loss.
Kilsyth Cobras 45 defeated by Bulleen Boomers 75
Despite finishing below them, the Bulleen Boomers were determined to assert dominance as they put up a 75-45 win over the Kilsyth Cobras at State Basketball Centre. The result marks Bulleen’s first win over the league-leaders, with a loss and a draw their previous encounters. In the end, it was a 36-point second term that led the Boomers to victory, as they led 35-58 into half-time. Owen Foxwell recorded solid numbers (20 points) in the win, jumping up to seventh place for PPG (15.1) and second for overall points (181) in his twelfth outing. He shared the floor well with Nicholas Woodall and Oscar Hydge, who managed 17 and 11 points respectively, while Anthony Dell’Orso dips to eleventh on average with a six-point performance. For the Cobras, Ned Dillon led on the board with 11 points, while NBL1 guard, Roosevelt Williams, followed close with 10. Team scoring leader, Josh Duach, finishes his season in fourteenth with a 12.7 average after dropping four points in his last game.
Nunawading and Kilsyth’s finals campaigns end as the Championship Division prepares to host the Grand Final between the Melbourne Tigers and Bulleen Boomers this Friday night.