Tag: makur jongkuch

2021 Big V Men’s: Round 9

ROUND 9 of Big V Men’s went off with a bang as the top of the table McKinnon notched up a thumping win as Wyndham also left their mark on the competition. The round had a mixed bag of results as a number of games were decided by less than 10 points and others by 40 plus showcasing the wide range of results.

Western Port (82) defeated by Casey (101)

Casey toppled Western Port to secure their fifth win of the season, while Western Port linger at the bottom of the ladder. Western Port got the head start on Casey as they established a four point lead at quarter time and then added to that buffer at half time to boast a seven point lead. but Casey were not done with yet, as they rallied in the third quarter to halt Western Port’s attacking momentum and go on the attack themselves piling on 26 points to 14. But their best was yet to come as they starred in the final stanza credit to their 34 points to 20 term.

Daryl Corletto was in ripping form for Western Port leading the troops with 22 points while also managing five rebounds and eight assists in the loss. Bevan Camilleri made an impact on the scoreboard with 17 points in 19 minutes nailing two triples at 50 per cent. Camilleri reeled in eight rebounds with only Matt Turner beating him on that front thanks to his 10 boards all of which were defensive and 19 points. But Casey had stars of their own with Matt Donlan upping the ante to produce 26 points at 50 per cent from the field. Keith Robinson was the next best with 17 points, seven rebounds and six assists as Anthony Williams Jr also got involved in the action sinking 16 points at 46 per cent accuracy from the field. Ben Waterhouse and Brendon Head were the only other players to make it out of single digits scoring 15 and 13 points respectively.

Wyndham (87) defeated Chelsea (73)

It was another strong showing from Wyndham as they produced a convincing win over Chelsea. Wyndham monopolised the play from the first quarter as they poured on 28 points to 19 and they kept their foot on the pedal in the second, well and truly outscoring their opponents by 11 points. Up by 20-points at half time, Wyndham looked to extend their lead in the third and that they did as they sunk 21 points to 14. With the game all but over in the final term, Chelsea came out with a real point to prove, attacking the basket and working their way back into the match to send the home side into panic stations. In the end Wyndham did enough to hold on and win.

There were three main players for the victors as Stefan Pomasan, Cameron Hutton and Makur Jongkuck all managed double-figure scores. Pomasan was the most prominent of the lot walking away with 25 points and flexing his muscles from down town credit to his six triples from 13 attempts. Jongkuck recorded 14 points while Hutton got busy with his 11 and seven rebounds. Kaelan Matejin was not the most prolific given he only managed six points but he showcased his strength in defence picking up eight rebounds and two steals. For Chelsea both Callum Guillot and Corey Standerfer were dominant sinking 21 points apiece. The duo impressed from three-point range with five and four triples each while Nathan Frost also chimed in with a handy 18 points and whopping 17 rebounds.

Keilor (70) defeated Blackburn (55)

The Thunder made it two wins straight, overcoming Blackburn by 15 points on Saturday. Keilor made all the running early, skipping out to a five point lead at the first break before the Vikings snapped back in the second to eat into the deficit. Only down by one point at the main break, Blackburn were pushed even further onto the backfoot by an inspired Keilor outfit as they piled on 19 points to nine. With a real pep in their step, the Thunder ground out the game to put the nail in the coffin and notch up a hard-fought victory.

Charleston Long dominated the play with 16 points for the eventual winners as he also accumulated 11 rebounds, two assists and three steals. He received plenty of support from Mitch Lukey who also chimed in with 15 points in his 37 minutes out on court, while Jeremy Edwards made his presence felt sinking 11 points and three rebounds. Nicholas Masunda plied his trade with nine points and six rebounds. Bul Niop led the charge for Blackburn registering 14 points despite only being on court for 11 minutes with his accuracy proving to be the key difference given he shot at 63 per cent from the field. Neal Mueller and Nodia Odigie were other main contributors as they tallied eight points respectively with the latter amassing six rebounds to go with his points.

Sunbury (75) defeated by McKinnon (105)

McKinnon remains on top of the table after defeating Sunbury by 30 points to take their tally to seven wins and two losses. It was all one-way traffic from the moment these two sides stepped out on court with McKinnon wasting no time to heap on the scoreboard pressure. The intensity level lifted even further in the second quarter as both sides upped the scoring quantities sitting on 28 and 31 points apiece. McKinnon maintained that pressure and high level output in the third as they stacked on another 30 points and even with the game winding down in the fourth they still outscored the Jets.

Cory Bellman worked tirelessly for the Jets producing 18 points at 58 per cent from the field. Teammate Trevon Clayton was still impressive despite being down on his usual lofty standards producing 15 points and 10 rebounds, yet another double-double to his name. Jayce Beasley was also influential in the loss nailing 14 points and three rebounds. When looking at McKinnon it is hard to go past the services of Nic Laycock who had a day out thanks to his 28 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals. Teammate Luke Shelley was not far off the pace producing 20 points of his own as Jordan Geer stepped up to the task with 25 points at 56 per cent accuracy from the field. It did not stop there for Geer who actually finished the match with a triple-double credit to his 13 rebounds and 12 assists.

Hume (99) defeated Hawthorn (91)

The final game went right down to the wire as Hume just snuck past Hawthorn. It was a fast start for both sides as neither of them struggled to find the basket, with Hume sinking 31 points and Hawthorn hot on their heels with 30. Evenly poised, Hawthorn hit back in the second to steal the lead from the Broncos and maintained that narrow buffer in the third term. But the Broncos were determined to not let this game slip upping the ante both in offence and defence in the final quarter to score 23 points while keeping the Magic to a mere 13.

Joel Rimes was at his damaging best producing 26 points at 43 per cent from the field while he did some of his best work from beyond the arc thanks to his six triples. Jake Martin was another solid contributor for the winners registering 23 points and seven rebounds while Shayan Mahboobi did not skip a beat with 18 points and four assists. Mackuei Puondak was the other main target for the Broncos finishing with 15 points and nine rebounds to his name. although Hawthorn did not get the win, the effort of Jarrod Molan was unquestionable as he piled on 29 points and five rebounds. Kirk Smith and Xavier Evans managed 30 points between them with Evans proving to have a hot hand when it came to assists racking up six in the loss.

Round 10:

The next round of Big V will see Hawthorn and Sunbury fight it out while the lowly Western Port play host to Wyndham who will have their tails up after a hard-fought win. Hume will have their hands full when they take on McKinnon as Chelsea and Keilor lock horns. The final game sees Casey and Blackburn go head-to-head in what is set to be a thriller.

Photo credit: Big V Facebook

2021 Big V Men’s: Round 7

ROUND 7 saw Sunbury drop just their second game of the season while McKinnon notched up a handy lead to sit level pegging with the top of the table Jets. There were plenty of upsets across the round with lower placed sides beating their higher placed counterparts.

Western Port (71) defeated by Hawthorn (91)

Hawthorn secured a much needed win in Round 7, defeating Western Port by a convincing 20 points to climb a little higher up the ladder. The Magic raced out to a handy 13-point lead in the opening term, piling on 27 points and kept their foot on the pedal throughout the match. They only lost one quarter – the third – by two points, but it was not enough to change the outcome of the game as Hawthorn ran home.

Jack Gaze was a force to be reckoned with for Western Port with a team-high 25 points. His accuracy from downtown was impressive, sinking six from nine attempts at 68 per cent. He was ably assisted by Chris Taylor who nailed 18 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals in his 26 minutes on court. Jay Allen also chimed in with 10 points and five rebounds in the loss. The Magic had a handful of players that hit the scoreboard with Jarrod Molnar proving to have a hot hand thanks to his 25 points, while Joe Furphy also got busy with his 22 points, seven rebounds and one assist. Kirk Smith featured heavily thanks to his 15 points and five rebounds as teammate Nathan Guscott also produced 10 points at 50 per cent from the field to help get his side the win.

Sunbury (79) defeated by Wyndham (88)

Wyndham shocked Sunbury, toppling them by nine points in a hard fought contest. Sunbury still sit on top of the ladder thanks to their percentage, but Wyndham are hot on their heels with the win seeing them sit on an equal amount of victories with five apiece. The Jets got out to a commanding 10-point lead in the opening stages of the game and extended that margin at half time to 12 points. But that is where it all stopped as Wyndham kicked into gear sinking them from left, right and centre to not only claim the ascendancy but so too steal the win.

Five players from the Jets managed to reach double-digits with Cory Bellman head of the pack, nailing 18 points at 50 per cent from the field. Jayce Beasley played a strong role for Sunbury as well thanks to his double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds. Nathan Baker managed to slot 14 points and seven rebounds while both Trevon Clayton and Nathan Marshall chimed in with 10 points apiece but it was not enough to will their side over the line. Much like the Jets, Wyndham did not have a shortage of players that were able to hit the scoreboard as five of their own hit the double-digit mark. Stefan Pomasan got busy with 17 points, four rebounds, six assists and four steals, while Tomi Ayilara also produced 16 points and six rebounds of his own. Makur Jongkuch found his scoring ways with 14 points while both Aaron Dolny and Cameron Hutton registered 11 points each.

Casey (92) defeated by Chelsea (95)

Chelsea just snuck home by a mere three points against Casey in a thriller. Despite being the higher ranked side, Casey could not get over the line with Chelsea digging deep and ruffling the feathers to claim only their third win of the season. It was somewhat a tail of two halves as Casey had all the momentum in the opening half but Chelsea wrestled it back in the second to close out the game with some monster quarters, sinking 27 points in both the third and fourth. Their ability to hold on and withstand the pressure was second to none.

It was another strong performance from Matt Donlan as he led the troops for Casey with his 28 points at 55 per cent from the field. He also proved that he was not afraid to back himself from range, sinking six out of his 13 attempts. Teammate Anthony Williams Jr also got busy with 22 points, three rebounds and five assists. The next best was Brendon Head who drained 17 points while Angus Howey fell just short of a double-double with nine points and six rebounds. The combination of Nathan Frost, Corey Standerfer and Aaron Frost seemed to be the winning mix as the trio did the most scoreboard damage. Nathan Frost top-scored with 30 points in his 40 minutes out on court, with Standerfer hot on his heels with a commanding 29 points and 12 rebounds. Aaron Frost found his groove with 23 points and 10 rebounds as Cooper Pratt registered an influential seven points in the win.

McKinnon (97) defeated Blackburn (84)

Blackburn remain on the bottom of the ladder with McKinnon notching up a strong 13-point win. Overall it was a much stronger performance from the Vikings who put McKinnon through their paces in hope of securing their second win of the season. McKinnon led the way at every change, showcasing their control over the game and while Blackburn showed glimpses of brilliance, they could not maintain that high level of intensity.

Both James Malvaso and Jordan Geer did the damage for McKinnon, registering 20 points apiece, however accuracy seemed to be somewhat of a problem for Geer who converted at 39 per cent from the field and 22 per cent from long range. Nic Laycock was another important contributor for McKinnon, piling on 18 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals. For Blackburn, the influence of Jah Soloai was felt as he recorded a team-high 20 points to accompany his six rebounds – all of which were defensive. Yusuf Qaafow and Mark Berezdecky also got busy and provided plenty of hope for their side credit to their 11 and 10 points respectively.

Hume (80) defeated Keilor (74)

Hume pipped the higher placed Keilor at the post to clinch a six point win. Thunder got the break on the Broncos early, creating a six point buffer by limiting Hume to a mere six points in the first term. That quickly changed as Hume found their rhythm across the court and piled on the scoreboard pressure in the third term to drain 30 points to 17 which proved to be the difference in the game.

Joel Rimes was the go-to scorer for Hume, producing 25 points in his 33 minutes on court. His accuracy from the charity stripe was impressive, converting at an 88 per cent clip and he also registered three assists and three steals. The ever-reliable Shayan Mahboobi inserted himself into the thick of things with his 17 points, five rebounds, two assists and four steals. The efforts of Jake Martin cannot be discounted as he reeled in a whopping 15 rebounds, 13 of which were defensive along with 12 points in an all-round stellar performance. Mackuei Puondak also plied his trade thanks to his 13 points and seven rebounds. For Keilor it was once again Luke Sist that got busy on the scoreboard with 17 points along with eight rebounds. Matt Spencer also worked gallantly for his 14 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists just falling short of a triple-double. Jeremy Edwards and Charleston Long were other key contributors but could not change the outcome of the game for the Thunder.

Round 8:

Coming off a loss, Keilor will be hoping to get back on the winners list against Hawthorn, while the contest between Casey and Wyndham is set to be an intriguing one. Blackburn and Hume go head-to-head at Mullum Mullum Stadium, while Chelsea and Sunbury fight it out as the Jets to hope recapture their winning formula. The final game sees McKinnon host the lowly Western Port as they look to steal top spot.

MUVJBL U18 Boys VC review: Round 9 – Nunawading wins final preview against Kilsyth

THE regular season for the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-18 Boys Championship Division finishes with the Nunawading Spectres as 58-64 victors over league-leaders, Kilsyth Cobras. The win marks Nunawading’s third consecutive win in the lead up to finals, finishing second with a home final, second chance and a standout 9-1-0 record on the road. In the match-up, Spectres opened better with a 9-14 first term, before the Cobras tied the half with 18-13 in the second. Despite impressive performances from NBL1 guard, Roosevelt Williams (18), and David Okwera (15), Kilsyth’s efforts were not enough as they went on to record their first home-loss of the season. For Nunawading, James Roche lead the game with 20 points, followed next by Luke Spurling on 12. Across the league, Roche moves to third spot for points per game (PPG) on 19.7 and finishes first overall with 177.

A three-point victory over the Keilor Thunder sends the Diamond Valley Eagles into finals. On the road, the Eagles faced a must-win contest against the Thunder – impressing to record their second consecutive win. In the match-up, the Thunder owned the first half. After conceding a one-point deficit in the first term (10-11), Keilor responded by tripling their total, taking a 31-24 lead into the break. Though despite their response, Keilor gradually slipped from the top as Diamond Valley delivered five-point wins in both remaining terms. Matt Marasco responded well from his three points last week to lead the game with 19. Ryan Hoffman finished next best on seven points, while Keilor’s Tonga Matapule Otutaha landed plenty with 14. Nicholas Guida and Jeffrey Ofoedu also impressed for Keilor, topping off their season with 10 points each.

Bendigo Braves returned to the winner’s list this week after handing the Bulleen Boomers their first loss at home with a 63-60 victory. The Braves climbed to sixth spot following the result, while the Boomers held onto fourth with a second chance for finals. In the contest, Bendigo secured the second and fourth terms by a single point after conceding the first at 18-14. In the third term, the Braves assumed a two-point lead following a 13-18 effort, eventually extending to thee points before the final buzzer. Caleb Connick finishes the season in fourth for PPG (19.4) and second overall (155) from eight games after recording 15 points in the final match. William Smythe also impressed on 14, while Bulleen’ss Owen Foxwell dominated on the board with 22. Thomas Giannatos finished next best with 10.

The Melbourne Tigers capped off their season in fifth with a 68-68 tie against the Werribee Devils. Unfortunately for Werribee, the tie ruined their chances of returning to the eight, finishing the season in ninth. In the match-up, Melbourne took a 32-29 lead into the main break after tying 12-12 in the opening term. The Devils went on to chip away at Melbourne’ lead for the remaining two terms, finishing 14-16 and 22-23. On the scoreboard, Lyzel Mataika and Jordan Adams shone brightest for the Tigers, scoring 17 and 15 points respectively. For Werribee, Darrien Herbert moves to sixth place for PPG after dropping a game-high 19 points, Aaron Dolny impresses with 16, while Makur Jongkuch places one below Herbert with a 15-point performance.

The Dandenong Rangers earned a second chance in September after defeating Korumburra Wildcats 88-69 at home. The Rangers moved to third place following their victory with 12 wins, four losses and two draws, while the Wildcats remained outside the top eight, missing finals in tenth.

In the Reserve grade, the Ballarat Miners defeated the Geelong Supercats at home (68-44), the Hawthorn Magic won similarly against the Casey Cavaliers (83-61), and the Knox Raiders won comfortably over the Dandenong Rangers (79-66). The round continued with the Eltham Wildcats losing at home to the Collingwood All-Stars (51-55) and the Waverley Falcons defeating the Ringwood Hawks (69-59).

In the Championship Division next week, four teams face off in elimination finals with the Melbourne Tigers hosting the Diamond Valley Eagles, and the Bendigo Braves hosting the Keilor Thunder. The qualifying finals follow with the Kilsyth Cobras hosting the Dandenong Rangers, and the Nunawading Spectres hosting the Bulleen Boomers.

MUVJBL U18 Boys VC preview: Round 9

THE regular season reaches a close in the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-18 Boys Championship Division with each side fighting for the best possible position in the lead up to finals.

Kilsyth Cobras (1st, 13-1-3) vs Nunawading Spectres (3rd, 13-4)

The finals preview between Kilsyth Cobras and Nunawading Spectres has a lot on the line for both sides. Kilsyth currently holds top spot, boasting a second chance and home final in the coming weeks. Nunawading has cemented their second-chance spot, sitting two wins ahead of Dandenong (fourth) in third. The Spectres will be determined to get up in this contest as they look to catch one of the two home-final spots still up for grabs. Though with their success on the road (8-1-0), a home final might not be the advantage they hope for. Comparatively, Kilsyth boast an unbeaten record in front of the home crowd, which, interestingly, will be tested against the competition’s best away record. Josh Duach will look to get up for the Cobras, having averaged 14.1 points per game (PPG) for the season. Similarly, league-scoring leader, James Roche, will be expected to maintain his dominant form for the Spectres.

Melbourne Tigers (6th, 10-7) vs Werribee Devils (13th, 8-9)

Sitting one spot out from the finals, the Werribee Devils will be looking to lift when they travel to MSAC to face the Melbourne Tigers on Friday. Over the last month Werribee’s record has been less than ideal, losing three of their last four games. Comparatively, the Tigers have won two of their last four, which includes a 29-point thrashing against Bulleen last week. Mathematically, a second-chance opportunity is still available for Melbourne as they sit just one win below the fourth-placed, Dandenong Rangers. Over the last fortnight, Jordan Adams and Patrick Twigg have been standouts for Melbourne. Adams’ ability was made known in their clash with Bulleen, scoring 18 points, while Twigg led with 12 in their win over Keilor. For Werribee, Darrien Herbert emerged last week with 15 points, while Makur Jongkuch dominated in their tight clash with Nunawading. Sitting sixth and seventh for PPG, big things will be expected for this pair.

Dandenong Rangers (4th,11-4-2) vs Korumburra Wildcats (14th, 7-10)

Dandenong will look to stay in touch with the top-four when they face the Korumburra Wildcats. Currently, the Wildcats sit at the bottom of the table but are still a chance to make finals if a few results fall their way. Dandenong sit ineligible for a top-two spot but continue to have their spot threatened with Melbourne just one win behind. Last week, they suffered a critical one-point loss to Nunawading, while Korumburra fell short against bottom-end rivals, Diamond Valley (73-65). In this week’s match-up, Harrison Bowater and Riley Simmons will be expected to fire for the Rangers, having averaged 12.5 and 10.9 PPG. The pair will be up against equal-best league scorer, Keith Robinson. Robinson dropped 28 points in Korumburra’s loss to Diamond Valley, moving his average to 20 PPG. Luis D’Angelo is also expected to fire for the Wildcats, sitting thirteenth with 13.1 PPG.

Keilor Thunder (10th, 9-8) vs Diamond Valley Eagles (12th, 8-9)

Diamond Valley Eagles head to Keilor Park this week where they hope to cement their finals spot with a win over the Thunder. Both teams recorded wins against bottom-end sides last week, with Keilor getting the better of Werribee and Diamond Valley defeating Korumburra. The stakes ramp up for both sides this week, with the threat of missing finals a reality for both. Jeffrey Ofoedu (17) and Tonga Matapule Otutaha (16) were big in Keilor’s win last week, while Paul Tsapatolis continues to lead in PPG (19.8) after dropping 22 points in Round 7. For Diamond Valley, Ethan Bateman has been standout with 11.5 PPG in 17th for league average. Ryan Hoffman and Joseph Brazier will also look to maintain form from last week, having drop 17 points each in their win over Korumburra.

Bulleen Boomers (2nd, 12-3-2) vs Bendigo Braves (11th, 8-8-1)

With the top-two still presenting for three teams, the Bulleen Boomers should look to cement their second spot with a comfortable win over the Bendigo Braves. The Boomers currently hold at two consecutive wins with one of the better percentages in the game. Over the last fortnight, they earned victories against Melbourne (41-70) and Korumburra (72-62), while Bendigo fell consecutively against two other top four sides in Dandenong (80-60) and Kilsyth (70-55). A loss for Bendigo may mean missing finals, with two teams below also on eight wins, and one below them on seven. Anthony Dell’Orso continues to be Bulleen’s greatest scoring threat, having recorded 18 points in last week’s clash to move to fifth across the league. Owen Foxwell also remains a threat with 13.4 PPG, while Bendigo’s equal-first league-scorer, Caleb Connick, looks to close out the league on top with 20 PPG.

MUVJBL U18 Boys VC preview: Round 8

A TOP three clash headlines Round 8 of the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-18 Boys Championship Division with the bottom four sides battling for the last two spots in the eight.

Dandenong Rangers (3rd, 11-3-2) vs. Nunawading Spectres (2nd, 12-4)

The match of the round pits third placed Dandenong Rangers against second placed Nunawading Spectres in what could eventuate into a battle for a home final. The teams are on the same amount of points, with the Spectres having one extra win, but one extra loss as well compared to the Rangers’ two draws. The Rangers have only lost one game at home and the Spectres are seven from eight on the road, so it makes for an enticing contest. Harrison Bowater (13.1 points per game) and Riley Simmons (12.1) have been crucial for the Rangers this season and could form a damaging duo, while Nunawading’s James Roche (19.7) will be a danger to watch, as will his teammate Curtis Brecko (11.1). The winner all but takes second spot if they do not stumble in the final round before finals.

Kilsyth Cobras (1st, 12-1-3) vs. Bendigo Braves (10th, 8-7-1)

Top-of-the-table Kilsyth Cobras should not have any problems against Bendigo with an unbeaten run at home from seven games against a Braves outfit that is just two from seven on the road. The Braves are actually sixth on the table when it comes to Championship Division finals, but are still only three points clear of the division cellar dwellers in Korumburra. If they can cause an upset they are guaranteed finals, but a loss and the sides below them move a step closer, though they would need to lose both remaining matches to drop out. As for the Cobras, they could drop to third mathematically with two losses, but will likely secure the minor premiership this round with a superior percentage to all bar Dandenong. Josh Duach (14.1 points per game) and David Okwera (12.2) have been the key scorers, going up against overall division leading scorer Caleb Connick (20.0), who would love to see Dyson Daniels (15.0) return with the young star missing due to National Basketball League (NBL)1 and national representative commitments.

Diamond Valley Eagles (13th, 7-9) vs. Korumburra Wildcats (14th, 7-9)

The bottom two sides clash in what is effectively the last chance saloon for one of the sides to make finals. The loser will be out of the finals race, while the winner will leap frog the loser of the Keilor Thunder-Werribee Devils game and put themselves into the top eight sides. The Eagles are just three from seven at home, while the Wildcats are not any better on the road, with two from seven. What works in the Wildcats’ favour is the fact that the Eagles are yet to win since the post-grade split, dropping seven consecutive games after heading into the new grade as 7-2. Korumburra’s Keith Robinson has been a source of points, averaging 18.7 points per game, teaming well with Brodie Mabilia (12.6) and Luis D’Angelo (12.2), while Diamond Valley looks to Ethan Bateman who is leading the side with 12.1 per game.

Keilor Thunder (12th, 8-8) vs. Werribee Devils (11th, 8-8)

Sitting seventh and eighth in the division, it goes without saying a win in this game is crucial. The winner is set to play finals, while the loser will drop outside the top eight meaning their finals hopes will then rely on favourable results in the last round. Keilor has dropped its past five games and are just three from eight at home, while Werribee has not won for a few rounds now and sit with three wins from seven games on the road. Neither side has a great percentage, both well below the two teams chasing them, meaning a loss here would all but end finals chances. Paul Tsapatolis was a welcome return for Keilor in Round 7 averaging the second most points of any player with 19.8 points per game this season, while Werribee relies on two key shooters in Darrien Herbert and Makur Jongkuch who have the identical output of 15.0 points per game.

Melbourne Tigers (5th, 10-6) vs. Bulleen Boomers (4th, 11-3-2)

The other game set to create interest is the fourth and fifth clash at Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre (MSAC). A win for Melbourne will draw them within two points and give the Tigers hope they can snatch fourth spot with a win in the final round, but any other result assures the Boomers of a double chance. The Tigers are safe from Bendigo overtaking them unless they lose twice and the Braves win both remaining games. Melbourne has an even spread of scorers with Ezrah Vaigafa, Lyzel Mataika and Patrick Twigg combining for an average of 31 points per game. The Boomers have a number of high volume scorers with Anthony Dell’Orso (17.3 points per game), Owen Foxwell (14.1) and Nicholas Woodall (12.3) all key players.

MUVJBL U18 Boys VC review: Round 7 – Top 5 grab wins

THE top five teams were able to gain some separation from the bottom five sides in Round 7 of the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-18 Boys competition with the dominant sides all getting wins over their lower ranked opponents three weeks out from finals. The bottom five teams are just one win apart from sixth to tenth, as three sides look to round out the top eight finals spots.

The closest game of the round was Nunawading Spectres’ six-point victory over Werribee Devils. The second placed Spectres maintained their top two ranking and extended their record on the road to eight wins from nine encounters. They led by just one point at the main break, but gained some separation in the second half, scoring 29 points to 24. James Roche was important with 24 points himself, while Luke Spurling (10) was a key contributor in the win. For the Devils, it was Makur Jongkuch who was everywhere sinking 27 points, while teammate Darrien Herbert managed 10 in the loss.

The top-of-the-table Kilsyth Cobras maintained their advantage with an eight-point win over Diamond Valley Eagles. They found themselves seven points down at the main break, but piled on 42 points to 27 in the second half to run over the top of the Eagles, 66-58. Roosevelt Williams stood out with 22 points, well aided by 16 from David Okwera, while Josh Duach (nine) was also impressive. For the Eagles, Ethan Bateman finished with 15 points, while Ryan Hoffman slotted 11.

Fifth placed Melbourne Tigers kept touch with the top four courtesy of an eight-point win over Keilor Thunder. The Tigers raced out to an 18-11 opening term advantage, but the Thunder reeled them in to trail by a point at half-time. The Tigers regained control in the second half to post 30 points to 23 in the 56-48 victory. Keilor’s Paul Tsapatolis sank 22 points to be the standout scorer despite the loss, while Tonga Matapule Otutaha was next best with 10. Melbourne shared its points around with Patrick Twigg (12 points), Tom Koppens (11), Ezrah Vaigafa (10) and Lyzel Mataika (nine) all having plenty of impact on the court.

Fourth placed Bulleen Boomers took control in the first half against Korumburra Wildcats to set up an impressive 10-point victory. The Boomers held a 16-point lead at the main break and extended that to 18 by the last chance. The Wildcats hit back in the final stanza but could not recover from the heavy deficit, going down 62-72. Anthony Dell’Orso sank 21 points for the Boomers, one of a trio of stars who went big as Owen Foxwell and Nicholas Woodall both delivered 15 points. For Korumburra, Keith Robinson scored 18 points, while Luis D’Angelo and Brodie Mabilia helped themselves to 13 apiece.

The biggest win of the round went to Dandenong Rangers who toppled Bendigo Braves by 20 points, The Rangers showed no mercy in the first half, racing away to 22 points and while it was much closer in the second half, the damage was done. Harrison Bowater scored a game-high 26 points, as Jyelin Moli (15), Riley Simmons (10) and Mason Perry (10) all reached double figures. Contrastingly, Caleb Connick was a lone scoring machine with 20 points for the Braves as the sole scorer to reach double figures in the loss.

In the Reserve grade, Ballarat Magic and Eltham Wildcats continued their dominance in the grade, picking up wins over Geelong Supercats and Waverley Falcons respectively to make it six and four wins on the trot. In other results, Hawthorn Magic defeated Geelong Supercats by 10 points, Collingwood All Stars downed Knox Raiders in a two-point thriller, while Dandenong Rangers 2 piled on more pain for Ringwood Hawks with 63-56, making it eight consecutive defeats for the Hawks.

Next week, Dandenong hosts Nunawading and Melbourne plays Bulleen in a couple of matches that will shape the order of the top eight, while Kilsyth will look to go further on top with a home match against Bendigo. In the other two games, finals hopes are on the line when Korumburra travels to Diamond Valley and Werribee meets Keilor.

MUVJBL U18 Boys VC preview: Round 7

WITH the regular season nearly reaching a close, Round 7 of the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-18 Boys Championship Division hopes to be a percentage booster for a few of the top-eight. As the fixture stands, no two teams will face within the top eight this round – with seven positions or over separating each match-up. Bulleen’s contest with Korumburra will be an important contest for the home-side, with the Boomers recording consecutive ties over the last fortnight. Also, with back-to-back wins in the last two rounds, the Braves will look to make it three in a row against the Rangers as they attempt to crack into the eight.

Bulleen Boomers (4th, 10-3-2) vs Korumburra Wildcats (14th, 7-8)

After recording consecutive draws over the last fortnight, the Boomers look to hold their top-four spot this week as they face the Korumburra Wildcats at home. In their last two outings, the Boomers hosted Dandenong (56-56) and Kilsyth (63-63), who sit first and third. Despite the results, the Boomers remain undefeated at home, and should remain as such when the Wildcats visit. Despite impressive at the season’s open, the Wildcats have only won two of their six outings. They put Keilor away early last week with a 32-15 first half, riding home comfortably to a 65-50 win. This week they face a few of the league’s top scorers in Anthony Dell’Orso and Owen Foxwell – who average 16.7 and 14 points per game (PPG) in fifth and eleventh for league-average. Korumburra boast Keith Robinson in fourth spot, averaging 18.8 PPG from five outings – followed next by Brodie Mabilia on 12.5.

Dandenong Rangers (3rd, 10-3-2) vs Bendigo Braves (10th, 8-6-1)

With a top eight spot in jeopardy, Bendigo Braves need to take a big scalp in Dandenong Rangers this week if they hope to play finals. On the road, the Braves have been disappointing (2-4-0), and despite two consecutive wins on the board, are yet to prove they can handle travelling. Last week, the Rangers were the only winning team within the top-four, taking consecutive draws in the rounds prior. Werribee copped a belting in Dandenong’s return to form last week (49-93), with the Braves likely to suffer similarly with the top-two up for grabs. Riley Simmons and Zac Taylor continued their form last week with 13 and 20 points respectively. Currently, Simmons averages 12.2 PPG in 14th across the league, while Taylor follows in seventeenth with 11.8. The Braves have league-leader, Caleb Connick, at the helm – averaging 20 PPG with 20 points in last week’s win.

Kilsyth Cobras (1st, 11-1-3) vs Diamond Valley Eagles (13th, 7-8)

This week Kilsyth Cobras boast the easiest fixture as they come up against a struggling Diamond Valley Eagles at home. Since losing last week’s match-up to Bendigo, the Eagles hold at six consecutive losses in the Championship Division. Their record looks set to worsen when they face the undefeated Cobras at home this week. Last week, the Cobras recorded their first non-winning result in the new division after drawing 63-63 with the Boomers. With the competition pressing, an easy fixture is all they need to reassert their position. David Okwera emerged in Kilsyth’s clash last week with 17 points, as Josh Duach retained form with 12 of his own. Duach places sixth for average points (15), while Okwera makes his way to eighteenth with 11.4. For the Eagles, Ethan Bateman has been impressive – averaging 11.7 PPG in twelfth. Joseph Brazier impressed in their loss last week with a team-high 11 points.

Werribee Devils (11th, 8-7) vs Nunawading Spectres (2nd, 11-4)

The Werribee Devils face the Nunawading Spectres at home this week as the Spectres make a play for top-spot. After recording a rare 57-60 loss last week against the Melbourne Tigers, the Spectres will look to show off a dominant away record when they travel to Werribee. The Devils copped a flogging against a resurging Dandenong Rangers at home last week, and will not want to concede consecutive beltings. Last week, James Roche held strong for the Spectres with 16 points – followed next by Curtis Brecko with 11. The pair rank second and eleventh for average points and face strong competition in Darrien Herbert (4th) and Makur Jongkuch (8th). Herbert held strong in last week’s loss, recording 14 points – Jongkuch following on seven.

Keilor Thunder (12th, 8-7) vs Melbourne Tigers (5th, 9-6)

Despite the discrepancy in positions, only one win separates the Keilor Thunder and Melbourne Tigers. This week the Thunder host the Tigers, with a lot riding on both sides’ hopes for finals. The Thunder currently hold four consecutive losses on the board and have conceded 912 points to 850. Last week, the Wildcats defeated them 65-50, and the week prior they lost 81-50 against the Spectres. Comparatively, the Tigers are coming off an impressive win against the Spectres and remained more competitive than most in their loss to the Kilsyth Cobras (62-50). The Thunder missed their top three league scorer in Paul Tssapatolis (19 PPG) of late, but boasted solid performances from Aleksander Bandilovski (11) and Tonga Matapule Otutaha (11). Comparatively, Melbourne are still without a top 20 scorer. Though last week had impressive performances from both Patrick Twigg (14) and Lyzel Mataika (12).

MUVJBL U18 Boys VC preview: Round 6

ROUND 6 of the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-18 Boys Championship Division kicks off on Friday night across Victoria with a few contests likely to go either way. As the Werribee Devils continue to build off the break, they look to make it three in a row when they face the Dandenong Rangers at home. The Nunawading Spectres also boast a similar affair against the Melbourne Tigers, with the match of round looking to be between the Bulleen Boomers and Kilsyth Cobras in a grapple for top spot.

Bulleen Boomers (3rd, 10-3-1) vs Kilsyth Cobras (1st, 11-1-2)

In recent weeks, the Kilsyth Cobras have been tested. Before returning to the winner’s list last week following their victory over the Melbourne Tigers, the Cobras copped their second draw against a formidable, Dandenong Rangers. This week the Cobras face another top four side in the Bulleen Boomers, who have also suffered a draw against the Rangers in recent weeks. Prior to last round, Bulleen enjoyed four consecutive wins in the Championship Division – taking notable victories from Nunawading and Keilor. With Anthony Dell’Orso and Owen Foxwell averaging 16.4 and 14.4 points per game (PPG) respectively; in fifth and eleventh for league scoring from five outings, the Cobras could struggle to match. Josh Duach (15.6 PPG) has been in top form for Kilsyth over the recent months but lacks a consistent partnership similar to Bulleen. Regardless, David Okwera (10) and Roosevelt Williams (nine) continue to be huge assets for the Cobras, with Okwera dropping a game-high 25 points in last week’s win over Melbourne. If Okwera can get up again, it will be interesting to see which duo prevails.

Nunawading Spectres (2nd, 11-3) vs Melbourne Tigers (5th, 8-6)

With the Nunawading Spectres on the climb, the Melbourne Tigers face a serious challenge this Friday as they hope to get back a win on the road. Last week the Tigers fell to a rebounding Kilsyth, dropping them into dangerous territory on the table (fifth) with three teams equaling their current record. Prior to their loss, the Tigers looked to be building, earning a 32-point win over Diamond Valley before returning from the break to defeat Bendigo at home. Currently, they sit a 2-3 in the Championship Division, compared to Nunawading’s 4-1. Though like Melbourne, the Spectres are yet to knock-off a major contender, losing their biggest match-up this year against the Boomers. This game will be a test for both sides, who have been fortunate not to contend with many top-five teams since the division separated. All eyes should be on James Roche as he pushes for the number one spot for league scoring. Currently, he averages 19.6 PPG from five games, assisted well by Curtis Brecko (12.2) who also sits in the top 20. Melbourne’s, Ezrah Vaigafa rounds out 20th spot in the league, averaging 11 PPG in front of Jordan Adams (10.6) and Lyzel Mataika (10.4) who hold 21st and 22nd respectively.

Werribee Devils (7th, 8-6) vs Dandenong Rangers (4th, 9-3-2)

Making the long trip to Werribee for Friday’s clash, the Dandenong Rangers hope to end their two-game draw streak against an in-form Devils outfit. After facing Bulleen and Kilsyth in recent weeks, the Rangers should revel to face an opponent outside the top-four. The Devils have managed consecutive five-point victories in the last fortnight but have not fared as well against top-end sides such as Bulleen (70-58) and Kilsyth (45-71). With that in mind, the Rangers should put their weak fortnight behind them with a win on the road. So far, Riley Simmons leads scoring for the Rangers with a 12-point average from five appearances. He’s followed close by Harrison Bowater with 11PPG – rounding out the top 20 in nineteenth. For the Devils, Darrien Herbert has been immense with his 16.2-point average placing him in sixth overall for the league. Makur Jongkuch has accompanied him well with 14.2 – sitting 12th across the league. In this match-up, Werribee look a lot more dangerous on the board but lack Dandenong’s two-way game.

Bendigo Braves (13th, 7-6-1) vs Diamond Valley Eagles (11th, 7-7)

The Diamond Valley Eagles hope to finally join the winner’s list when they face the Bendigo Braves on the road this Friday. Since joining the Championship Division the Eagles have recorded five consecutive losses – despite joining the competition at 7-2. The Braves have so far collected 2-3 from their time in the new division, earning their second last week against Korumburra. Currently, the Braves hold a fair 5-2-1 record at home – impressive given their position on the table. The Braves also boast the top league scorer in Caleb Connick who averages 20PPG, and Dyson Daniels who has been in good form in ninth spot with 15 PPG. Comparatively, Diamond Valley only average one player in the top 20 with Ethan Bateman averaging 12 PPG in fourteenth spot, while Matt Marasco and Erik Kafritsas follow next with 8 and 7.8 points respectively.

Korumburra Wildcats (14th, 6-8) vs Keilor Thunder (8th, 8-6)

In one of the most interesting match-ups of the round, the Korumburra Wildcats and Keilor Thunder both risk suffering four consecutive losses when they face on Friday. In recent weeks, the Thunder have fell to three top four sides in Nunawading, Bulleen and Dandenong. Comparatively, Korumburra have suffered losses to Bendigo and Werribee after falling by 35 points in a loss to Kilsyth before the break. The Thunder sit only one win below fourth, while the Wildcats could press for the top eight in the coming rounds. Paul Tsapatolis has been in good form for the Thunder, sitting third for league scoring with 19 PPG. Unfortunately for Keilor, Daelon Ateru is Keilor’s next best scorer on eight. For the Wildcats, Keith Robinson leads scoring with 18.8 PPG, one spot behind Tsapatolis in fourth. Unlike Keilor, Robinson has great support with Luis D’Angelo and Brodie Mabilia averaging 11.8 and 11.6 PPG respectively.

MUVJBL U18 Boys VC preview: Round 5

WITH the table tightening up midway through the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-18 Boys season, it is difficult to pick the game of the round. Three out of five of Round 5’s games will be played between teams exclusively within the top-eight. Bulleen Boomers host Dandenong Rangers, Kilsyth Cobras face Melbourne Tigers and Nunawading Spectres go head-to-head against Keilor Thunder. With the top three tied on 10 wins apiece, the results of this could possibly put a new team atop the table.

Kilsyth Cobras (1st, 10-1-2) vs Melbourne Tigers (5th, 8-5)

Kilsyth Cobras hope to re-join the winners list when they come up against Melbourne Tigers at home this week. Last week, the Cobras picked up their second draw for the season against an in-form, Dandenong Rangers. They remain atop the table but have given Bulleen and Nunawading space to press as they both pick up wins to equalise. Comparatively, the Tigers have weathered an easier fixture in recent weeks, snaring consecutive wins against Diamond Valley and Bendigo to hold in fifth at the end of last round. Back on the road again, it’s unlikely Melbourne’s away record will stand up to the league-leaders. For the Cobras, Josh Duach has been in an impressive form with 14.5 points per game (PPG) – moving into seventh on the league scoring list, while Liam Croney (10.3) sits in eighteenth spot from four games. Jordan Adams has been Melbourne’s biggest asset, averaging 12.3 PPG from four games in the Championship Division, with Lyzel Mataika following close on 11.8.

Bulleen Boomers (2nd, 10-3) vs Dandenong Rangers (4th, 9-3-1)

Like the last, this game also looks difficult to pick, with the Bulleen Boomers hosting Dandenong Rangers at Mullum Mullum. Last week, Dandenong came close to rising in the top-four, but instead tied, ending their five game win streak. As of now, the Boomers hold the greatest streak in the competition with four consecutive in the Championship Division. They are also yet to lose a game at home, boasting a 5-0-0 record. Bulleen should look to utilise their star shooter in Owen Foxwell, who sits fourth for overall league scoring. Anthony Dell’Orso is close behind for the Boomers in sixth, averaging 15 PPG. For Dandenong, Riley Simmons leads scoring with 13.3 PPG, followed close by Harrison Bowater on 12. Mason Perry will also look to back up last week’s 15-point performance for the Rangers, while Otto Mananov’s 12 points was also a feature last week for the Boomers.

Nunawading Spectres (3rd, 10-3) vs Keilor Thunder (6th, 8-5)

Nunawading Spectres look to snare their third consecutive win when they face Keilor Thunder this week. The Thunder have gradually slipped down the table, following losses to top-four contenders in Bulleen and Dandenong. A loss this week could potentially send them out of the eight, while Nunawading threaten for the top spot. Though its possible that the Spectres receive a reality check this week, after snaring wins from bottom-end sides in Bendigo and Diamond Valley. Despite having loss two consecutive, the Thunder have presented a real scoring threat in Paul Tsapatolis (19 PPG), while Tonga Matapule Otutaha presented strong with 10 points in last round’s clash with the Boomers. On the Spectres’ end, James Roche has been immense, averaging 18.8 PPG in third for league scoring, while Curtis Brecko boasts 11th spot with 12.8 PPG.

Werribee Devils (10th, 7-6) vs Diamond Valley Eagles (9th, 7-6)

Though not in the eight, the clash between the Werribee Devils and Diamond Valley Eagles looks to be a good one. Diamond Valley are yet to snare a win in the Championship division and have gradually slipped out of the top eight as a result. Contrastingly, the Devils look to be on the rise, pushing into tenth spot following a win over the Wildcats last round. A win for either side could see them launch back inside the eight, as both only sit one win under sixth spot. The Devils have shown great scorers in Makur Jongkuch (15 PPG) and Darrien Herbert (13.5), who sit sixth and ninth respectively on the league scoring ladder. For the Eagles, Ethan Bateman has put together a few good games in the Championship Division, averaging 12 PPG, with Erik Kafritsas following next on 9.5.

Bendigo Braves (14th, 6-6-1) vs Korumburra Wildcats (12th, 6-7)

Bendigo Braves host Korumburra Wildcats this week for a chance to snare their second win in the newly established Championship Division. Korumburra are in a similar position, having lost their last two. Both sides present a real chance to slip further down the table with a poor result, but somehow still only sit one win outside the top-eight. Regardless of their results, the Braves boast the top league scorer in Caleb Connick, who averages 19.5 PPG and receives decent scoring support from Isaac Murphy (10). For the Wildcats, Keith Robinson has been similarly impressive, sharing top spot with Connick over the last two months before landing in second with 18.8 PPG. The Wildcats also have Luis D’Angelo (11.8) putting up solid numbers to keep them competing.

MUVJBL U18 Boys VC review: Round 4 – A Kilsyth draw opens race for top spot

THE Dandenong Rangers and Kilsyth Cobras kicked off Round 4 of the Melbourne United Victorian Junior League (MUVJBL) Under-18 Boys Championship Division with a 64-64 tie. Despite the result, Kilsyth managed to end the Rangers five-game win streak on the road, taking home their second draw of the season. The Cobras retained top spot with the result, but the Bulleen Boomers and Nunawading Spectres both pressing with equal 10 wins. Mason Perry led scoring for the Rangers with 15 points, with Riley Simmons (12) and Zac Taylor assisting well in the tight affair. For the Cobras, Liam Croney led on the scoreboard with 18 points, followed close by Eythan House who dropped 16 with Josh Duach dropping eight to maintain his spot on the top scorers list (9th).

The Bulleen Boomers strung together their fourth consecutive win of the season, beating the Keilor Thunder (56-67) to remain the only undefeated side since the beginning of the VC post-split. The loss drops Keilor to sixth, with the Melbourne Tigers on the climb. Bulleen continue to threaten in second place, matching Kilsyth’s 10 wins following their draw with Dandenong. Owen Foxwell put on a clinic in the win, dropping an equal game-high 22 points on his way to fifth for the league scoring list. Anthony Dell’Orso and Otto Mananov were also impressive, scoring 13 and 12 points respectively. For Keilor, Paul Tsapatolis scored 22 points in the loss, jumping back to second on the league scoring tally. Tonga Matapule Otutaha finished next best for the Thunder with 10 points.

The Melbourne Tigers added to their impressive home record with a comfortable 68-54 win over the Bendigo Braves. The loss marked three consecutive for the Braves as they slipped further down the table. The Tigers passed Keilor Thunder, jumping to fifth and making top four within grasp in the coming rounds. Despite the game looking close at half-time (33-29), the Tigers ran over the Braves in the third (22-9) for an easy run home. Lyzel Mataika moves into the top-20 for league scoring with a dominant 18 points in the win. Teammates, Jordan Adams and Ezrah Vaigafa, were also impressing with 12 and 10 points respectively. For the Braves, Caleb Connick retains top spot for league scoring with 15 points, while Dylan Mccauley (nine) and Isaac Murphy (nine) both assisted well in offence.

In what was almost the biggest upset of the round, the Diamond Valley Eagles went down by a point in their 60-61 loss to the Nunawading Spectres. The Eagles opened strong with a 17-8 first term, closing out the half with a five-point lead as the Spectres hit back in the second. Quickly putting the opening term behind them, the Spectres went on to outscore the Eagles, hitting 17-18-18 compared to 13-15-15 to close out the game. Curtis Brecko led scoring for the Spectres with 17 points, alongside the league’s 3rd best scorer, James Roche, who put up 15. For the Eagles, Ethan Bateman had a star performance, amassing 22 points on his way up to thirteenth on the league scoring list, while Erik Kafritsas and Ky Cargin were similarly impressive with 13 points each in the loss.

The Werribee Devils ended their 0-4 losing streak since the two-grade split, collecting their first win in the VC after defeating bottom-end rivals, Korumburra Wildcats, by five points (53-58) on the road. The game moves the Devils to tenth, while the Wildcats drop to twelfth. Werribee’s Makur Jongkuch did well to match a top league scoring threat in Keith Robinson (second), putting up a game-high 24 points to snare fifth on the league scoring list. Darrien Herbert (13) was similarly impressive for the Devils, while the Wildcats’ NBL1 representative, Patrick Ryan, dropped 15 alongside Robinson’s 17.

In the Reserve grade, the Geelong Supercats got the edge over the Ringwood Hawks with 84-63 win, the Ballarat Miners earned a 67-52 victory at home over the Knox Raiders, while the Eltham Wildcats won similarly over the Hawthorn Magic (70-63). In the fourth consecutive home win of the round, the Collingwood All Stars won 61-51 over the Dandenong Rangers, while the Casey Cavaliers tied it up on the road against an in-form Waverley Falcons.

In the Championship Division for Round 5, the Bendigo Braves hope to get a leg-up on a struggling Korumburra Wildcats, the Kilsyth Cobras look to snare a comfortable win at home over the Melbourne Tigers, while the Bulleen Boomers and Dandenong Rangers battle it out in a huge top four clash. To close out the round, the Nunawading Spectres host the Keilor Thunder with the Werribee Devils hoping to go two in a row when they face the Diamond Valley Eagles.