Tag: sam froling

NBL1 South Men’s team summary: Dandenong Rangers

IN light of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the National Basketball League (NBL)1 South Conference has been cancelled this year. As such, while Draft Central intended to do a preview on all teams leading up to the delayed start, it will instead be a team summary from last season and what they might look to improve on for 2021. Today’s edition looks at Dandenong Rangers’ men’s side who made the finals last season, but went out in the opening week.

2019 in Review:

Finished: 8th (Lost in Elimination Finals)
Wins: 11
Losses: 10
Home: 5-6
Away: 6-4

What went right:

  • Offence (Top 5 in points, 2nd in 2FG%)
  • Assists (18.6 per game ranked 4th)
  • Steals (7.9 per game, ranked 4th)
  • Ball-handling (11.4 turnovers per game, equal third least)
  • Strong finish (won four of the last five games)

The Dandenong Rangers had plenty that went right statistically, and realistically, there were not too many blowouts on the scoreboard. Of their losses, all were under 20 points, and they were able to play both high scoring shootouts (such as the 138-130 loss to Sandringham Sabres) and low-scoring slogs (such as the 74-69 defeat to Geelong Falcons). They pushed the top teams all the way, with narrow losses to Ballarat (seven points) and Geelong (five), and had their best run of form in the final month, when they won four of a possible five games on the run home. Statistically, they had the third least turnovers of any side, they were able to use the ball well through offence – ranked fourth in assists, second in two-point field goal percentage and top five in overall points – and were able to win the ball back from opponents regularly with 7.9 steals per game to rank fourth overall in that area. Basically, there was a lot to like about the season other than just scraping into the finals series.

What went wrong:

  • Rebounding (24.5 defensive rebounds, ranked 16th in the competition)
  • Blocking (2.4 per game, ranked 14th in competition)
  • Inconsistent year (no more than three consecutive wins)

It would have been a frustrating year for the Rangers and a lot of “what ifs?” considering they lost games to three of the four bottom sides who they really should have put away – especially given the fact they were at home on all those occasions. Despite having some seriously quality talls, they struggled with rebounding (24.5 defensive, ranked 16th overall) and blocking (2.4 blocks, ranked 14th overall), and it led to teams being able to get second chance points and open looks at times. They also did not win more than three consecutive games, unable to get a run on like some other finalists did. Had they beaten those three bottom four sides, and the Rangers would likely be looking at a double chance – a season of inches.

Top Players:

Lucas Barker

The playmaker of the team was the creator with ball-in-hand, able to distribute the ball cleanly across the court and set up looks for his teammates. He was just a really consistent player throughout the 2019 NBL1 season, putting up numbers of 15.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 2.0 steals per game, shooting at 45.2 per cent from the field and 36.2 per cent from long range. Barker was also reliable when stepping up to the line, having the most free throws of any Rangers’ player such was his impact on opposition defences, finishing the season with an impressive 77.5 per cent efficiency.

Tim Lang

One of Dandenong’s experienced big men and helping provide some knowledge to up-and-coming star, Sam Froling, Lang was one of five players to get more than five rebounds per game. He also averaged 11.5 points and almost two assists per game, as well as a steal per game which was impressive for a 206cm center. Despite being 33-years-old entering the season last year, Lang showed he is capable of strong performances and will be a real team contributor with his accuracy from inside the arc.

Dexter Kernich-Drew

A 199cm guard who put up strong offensive numbers throughout the year, Kernich-Drew finished the season with a team-high 17.6 points. Despite his size, he was certainly used more in that catch and shoot role, also averaging three rebounds and two assists per game – less than his teammates, but more points. He took the ball off the opponents at least once per game on average, and while more inaccurate from two-point range than his teammates at just 41 per cent, he was stronger at the line (79.2 per cent) and from long range (37 per cent).

Young Gun:

Sam Froling

Easily could have made the above, but given the 20-year-old fits the category of Young Gun, we have slotted the future star in here. He had a really promising season and averaged 16.9 points and 7.7 rebounds per game, setting himself up nicely for the NBL where he signed with the Illawarra Hawks. Following his famous siblings into the sport who already play at the top national level, Froling has so much potential measuring in at about 211cm which makes him near impossible to stop when he releases, and with a solid accuracy of 45 per cent from two-point range, he is fairly strong. His three-point and free-throw shooting could improve, but he is a genuine young star of the competition.

Christmas list for 2021:

Consistency. Dandenong has such good talls when it comes to offensive transition, and they showed they can rebound the ball offensively, but had a much lower offensive-to-defensive rebound ratio compared to other sides. The Rangers do not need a lot to move up the ladder, it would just be a case of winning the games they should.

Summary:

The Dandenong Rangers have a squad that is good enough to compete with the best, and one that when the talls are up and going, is hard to stop. They are strong offensively, and in-play defensively, and once they can stop more attempts going to the basket and finish off those lower-end sides like title contenders should, then watch out in 2021.

NBL Round 15 review: Mid-table logjam as finals approach

CAIRNS Taipans grabbed third spot, South East Melbourne Phoenix moved out of the bottom two, and Perth Wildcats and Sydney Kings showed why they are the two teams to beat in what was a big round of action in the National Basketball League (NBL).

Cairns Taipans (85) defeated New Zealand Breakers (79)

Cairns broke New Zealand’s five-game winning streak with a thrilling six-point victory at home on Thursday night thanks to a strong second quarter. The Taipans trailed by five points at the first break, but turned the game around in the next quarter with a 30-19 term to lead by six at half-time. New Zealand got back on top in the third term, posting 20-14 and levelled the scores at the final break. It was the home side that stepped up in the last stanza, claiming a vital win to leapfrog Melbourne United into third spot on the NBL ladder. Scott Machado led the way with 29 points, seven rebounds and three assists, well helped by D.J. Newbill (20 points, four rebounds and three steals) and Cameron Oliver (14 points, eight rebounds, two steals and two blocks) for the Taipans. Scotty Hopson had a costly 10 turnovers, but still managed 18 points for the Breakers, as well as eight assists, seven rebounds and two steals. Thomas Abercrombie (16 points, seven rebounds) was strong off the boards, while the Breakers’ best could well have been Robert Loe off the bench, posting a team-high 24 points, seven rebounds and two blocks.

DC Medal: 3 – Scott Machado (CT), 2 – Robert Loe (NZ) , 1 – D.J. Newbill (CT)

Illawarra Hawks (77) defeated by Perth Wildcats (99)

Perth maintained a two-win gap inside the top two with an important 22-point victory over Illawarra on the road. The Hawks are anchored to the bottom of the table and barring a complete revival, will win this season’s wooden spoon. The Wildcats, with the introduction of seven-year NBA player Miles Plumlee coming off the bench, showed why they are a premiership contender with a strong first half. Perth posted 54 points to 36 in the first two quarters to lead by 18 points at the main break. Determined not to be blown away, the Hawks picked up after the break to win the third quarter, 24-19, but were soon outclassed again in the last with a 26-17 term as the Wildcats cruised to a 99-77 victory. Bryce Cotton led the way once again with 23 points, four rebounds, six assists and four steals on the night, while Nick Kay picked up a double-double courtesy of his 14 points, 10 rebounds and four assists. Terrico White (17 points, three rebounds, three assists and three steals) was strong once again, while Plumlee finished his debut with six points, three rebounds, one assist, one steal and two blocks. For the Hawks, Todd Blanchfield was the standout thanks to 26 points and eight rebounds, while Sunday Dech (15 points, five rebounds) and Daniel Grida (11 points, three rebounds) were the other two players to reach double-figure points.

DC Medal: 3 – Bryce Cotton (PW), 2 – Nick Kay (PW), 1 – Todd Blanchfield (IH)

Sydney Kings (92) defeated Cairns Taipans (83)

After riding high from a win on Thursday night, Cairns Taipans were unable to topple the ladder-leading Sydney Kings at Qudos Bank Arena. The Taipans showed enough to suggest they are deserving of finals, matching it with the Kings for three quarters, but it was the first term that ultimately cost them. Sydney got away to a seven-point lead in the opening term and from there managed to hold the visitors at bay, winning the final two quarters by a point and breaking even in the second term to ensure the margin had enough breathing space with the eventual nine-point victory. Casper Ware and Daniel Kickert topped the Kings’ point-scorers with 18 apiece, the latter of whom set up the home side in the opening term. Jae’Sean Tate posted 15 points, eight rebounds and two steals on the night, while Brad Newley (13 points, three rebounds) and Andrew Bogut (six points, eight rebounds) were also impressive. Majok Deng was the top scorer for the Taipans, sinking 18 points, as well as six rebounds, while Machado (16 points, six rebounds, six assists and three steals), Newbill (15 points, seven assists and three steals) and Mirko Djeric (14 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals) also contributed in the unlucky defeat.

DC Medal: 3 – Scott Machado (CT), 2 – Jae’Sean Tate (SK), 1 – Daniel Kickert (SK)

Adelaide 36ers (100) defeated Melbourne United (86)

A Jerome Randle inspired Adelaide 36ers survived a challenge from top four side Melbourne United to post a 14-point win at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre on Saturday night. The victory meant the home side moved just half a game out from United who look far from secured in the finals spots. The 36ers started strongly to lead by eight points at the first break, before United hit back to cut the deficit to five at the main break. Adelaide regained control in the second half and never let it go despite the visiting side’s best efforts, posting 47 points to 38 in order to run out 100-86 victors. Randle was a star throughout but stepped up in the last quarter, posting 23 points, three rebounds and three assists, well aided by big men, Eric Griffin (21 points, 11 rebounds) and Daniel Johnson (19 points, seven rebounds). Brendan Teys (11 points, four assists and three rebounds) and Anthony Drmic (nine points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals) were also impressive on the night. For United, Chris Goulding (26 points, three rebounds and two assists) led the way in scoring, while Shawn Long‘s sensational season rolled on thanks to yet another double-double with 16 points and 15 rebounds. Mitch McCarron just missed out on a double-double following numbers of 10 points, nine rebounds and five assists, while Melo Trimble was quiet with five points and five assists.

DC Medal: 3 – Jerome Randle (AD), 2 – Eric Griffin (AD), 1 – Shawn Long (MU)

New Zealand Breakers (85) defeated by Brisbane Bullets (95)

After five consecutive wins on the trot, Round 15 proved to be an unlucky one for the Breakers, dropping both games over the weekend, with the latest being a 10-point loss to Brisbane at home. Normally steady on home soil, it was not the Breakers’ night after the Bullets slammed home 34 points to 21 in the second term to race away to a 10-point advantage at half-time. New Zealand clawed its way back to a five-point deficit by the final break, but that went back out to 10 by the last buzzer following a 26-21 final term in favour of the visitors. Lamar Patterson was simply sensational again for the Bullets, putting up numbers of 18 points, seven rebounds and five assists, while Matt Hodgson produced a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds. EJ Singler was not far behind thanks to his 13 points, nine rebounds and two assists, while Taylor Braun also helped himself to 14 points and two rebounds. Hopson was a shining light for the Breakers with 14 points, four rebounds and six assists, aided by Abercrombie (17 points, four rebounds) and Sek Henry (17 points, three rebounds and two assists).

DC Medal: 3 – Lamar Patterson (BB), 2 – Matt Hodgson (BB), 1 – Scotty Hopson (NZ)

Illawarra Hawks (82) defeated by South East Melbourne Phoenix (90)

In the final match of the round, South East Melbourne Phoenix maintained a spot in the finals race thanks to an eight-point win over cellar dwellers, Illawarra Hawks. It was the Hawks’ second loss at home over the weekend, as the Phoenix moved ahead of the Breakers following their disastrous run of form over the past couple of months which saw the league’s newest side drop to eighth on the table. Now only a couple of games outside the top four, the Phoenix can regroup, which started with a come-from-behind victory against the Hawks. Illawarra led by eight points at quarter time, but it was the Phoenix after that, securing an eight-point lead themselves at half-time then blowing it out to 13 by the final break. The home side cut the final deficit back to eight by the buzzer, but it was to no avail, going down 82-90. Dane Pineau‘s form continued after a mammoth double-double with 14 points – at 100 per cent from the field no less – as well as 18 rebounds – 14 defensive – and three blocks. He was far from alone on the scoring front with Kendall Stephens putting up 20 points, six rebounds and two steals, while Ben Madgen (17 points, three rebounds and five assists) and John Roberson (12 points, two rebounds and seven assists) covered for Mitch Creek in his quietest game for the season with just eight points, four rebounds and two assists. For the Hawks, Blanchfield again led the scoring with 15 points, as well as two rebounds, two assists and three steals, while Sam Froling (13 points, 11 rebounds) was the home side’s best, and Dech (13 points, five rebounds and two assists) and Grida (13 points) equalled his scoring output.

DC Medal: 3 – Dane Pineau (SEM), 2 – Kendall Stephens (SEM), 1 – Sam Froling (IH)

DC Medal Leaderboard:

32 – Bryce Cotton (PW)
31 – Lamar Patterson (BB)
30 –
29 –
28 – Shawn Long (MU)
27 –
26 –
25 –
24 – Mitch Creek (SEM)
23 – Scott Machado (CT), Jae’Sean Tate (SK)
22 –
21 – Casper Ware (SK), Melo Trimble (MU)
20 – LaMelo Ball (IH), Jerome Randle (AD)
19 –
18 –
17 – John Roberson (SEM), Cameron Oliver (CT)
16 –
15 – Nick Kay (PW)
14 – Daniel Johnson (AD)
13 – Andrew Bogut (SK)
12 – Eric Griffin (AD)
11 –  Corey Webster (NZ)
10 – DJ. Newbill (CT)
9 – Terrico White (PW)
8 –
7 – Chris Goulding (MU), Nathan Sobey (BB), Scotty Hopson (NZ)
6 –  Kouat Noi (CT), Dane Pineau (SEM)
5 – Aaron Brooks (IL), Brad Newley (SK), AJ Ogilvy (IL), Anthony Drmic (AD), Todd Blanchfield (IH)
4 –  Dario Hunt (PW), Brandon Ashley (NZ), Ben Madgen (SEM), Tom Abercrombie (NZ), Matt Hodgson (BB)
3 – Sek Henry (NZ), Didi Louzada (SK), Glen Rice Jr (NZ), Finn Delany (NZ)
2 – Jason Cadee (BB), Sunday Dech (IH), David Barlow (MU), Mitch McCarron (MU), Tim Coenraad (IH), Robert Loe (NZ), Kendall Stephens (SEM)
1 – Majok Deng (CT), Craig Moller (SK), Jesse Wagstaff (PW), Keith Benson (SEM), Tohi Smith-Milner (MU), RJ Hampton (NZ), Angus Glover (IH), Emmett Naar (IH), Josh Boone (IH), Ej Singler (BB), Daniel Kickert (SK), Sam Froling (IH)

NBL Round 4 review: United strikes as Taipans emerge as wildcards

THE Sydney Kings are the only team to remain undefeated in season 2019/2020 with South East Melbourne Phoenix suffering their first loss of the year after their dominant start. On the other hand, Melbourne United got on the board with their first win of the season.

New Zealand Breakers (103) defeated Illawarra Hawks (72)

The Breakers got off to a flyer with a 30-18 opening term all but setting the tone for the rest of the match and making it hard for the Hawks to fight back. New Zealand controlled the flow and momentum of the game from the first whistle shutting down the Hawks. It was a battle of potential top NBA draft prospects LaMelo Ball and RJ Hampton with the two going toe to toe throughout the match and showcasing their class. Although neither worried the scoreboard too much they displayed glimpses of brilliance and provided plenty of excitement with Ball racking up 10 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Sek Henry top scored with 21 points while Corey Webster was equally just as damaging for the Breakers with 17 points. Scotty Hopson also left his mark recording a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds. For the Hawks Aaron Brooks caused pain on the scoreboard with 19 points, two rebounds and two assists with teammate Sam Froling also helping out with nine points.

DC Medal: 3 – Sek Henry (NZ), 2 – Scotty Hopson (NZ), 1 – LaMelo Ball (IH)

Adelaide 36ers (101) defeated Cairns Taipans (97)

It was a close contest with the lead ebbing and flowing throughout the four quarters. The Taipans started off hot posting 30 points but fell away in the second allowing the 36ers to sneak their way back in credit to a 33-point term. A last quarter burst from the Taipans had the 36ers worry with the Taipans well and truly eating into their deficit piling on 28 points compared to 17, but Adelaide stood strong prevailing by a mere four points. Jerome Randle led the way in attack for Adelaide notching up 22 points while both Daniel Johnson (19 points) and Anthony Drmic (13 points) played their part in their sides victory. Eric Griffin secured a double-double for his efforts with 13 points and 10 rebounds with Obiri Kyei making his presence felt off the backboard with eight rebounds for the match. But the Taipans were not to be outclassed with DJ Newbill posting a handy total of 18 points along with Cameron Oliver top scoring credit to his 21 points. Scott Machado also nailed 14 points along with four rebounds and eight assists in his teams’ narrow defeat.

DC Medal: 3 – Cameron Oliver (CT), 2 – Eric Griffin (AD), 1 – Scott Machado (CT)

Perth Wildcats (110) defeated South East Melbourne Phoenix (79)

Perth ended Phoenix’s unbeaten streak with a convincing performance in front of a home crowd. The Wildcats came out with a point to prove doubling their opponents score in the first quarter and keeping their foot on the throat throughout the match. Although the Phoenix mounted somewhat of a comeback in the third it was not enough to trouble the scoreboard. The shooting was relatively evenly spread across the board for the Wildcats with Terrico White putting up 17 points, Bryce Cotton 16 and Rhys Vague 12. Nick Kay proved to be unstoppable off the backboard with a game-high 13 rebounds with the next closest, South East Melbourne’s Dane Pineau with eight. Phoenix struggled to score with captain Mitch Creek only recording nine points while Kyle Adnam notched up 11 and Jaye Crockett recording the highest of the lot with 12. Overall it was a clinical performance from the reigning champions who simply outclassed the Phoenix at every occasion.

DC Medal: 3 – Bryce Cotton (PW), 2 – Nick Kay (PW), 1 – Terrico White (PW)

Melbourne United (104) defeated New Zealand Breakers (98)

After a disastrous start to the season United notched up the all important “W” in a tight contest with across the ditch rivals. United showed plenty of grit and determination with the Breakers getting the jump on them early before mounting a timely comeback. It all came down to the last quarter with Melbourne piling on 26 points compared to 17 with New Zealand all but letting the victory slip through their fingers. Melbourne power trio Chris Goulding, Melo Trimble and Shawn Long caused all sorts of headaches on the scoreboard with all three reaching over 20 points. Goulding put out a vintage performance hitting 24 points, Trimble notched up 24 points along with five rebounds and six assists but all eyes were on Long who scored a game-high 27 points and 13 rebounds. Mitch McCarron showed his class with six assists for United meanwhile Webster equalled his efforts for the Breakers with six. Tom Abercrombie was impressive off the boards with eight rebounds while Brandon Ashley proved to be a handful with 24 points and seven rebounds.

DC Medal: 3 – Shawn Long (MU), 2 – Melo Trimble (MU), 1 – Brandon Ashley (NZ)

Sydney Kings (94) defeated Brisbane Bullets (79)

An impressive second quarter blitz all but handed the Kings the win and kept their unbeaten streak alive. They were simply too good for the Bullets able to ride through the waves of pressure and revert to their structures with Casper Ware leading the way in terms of scoreboard pressure. Ware proved pivotal for the Kings with another 17 points but was ably assisted by the likes of Didi Louzada (14 points) and Shaun Bruce (12 points). Andrew Bogut was up to his usual tricks with 11 rebounds and 12 points. Despite being able to maintain four quarter pressure the Bullets showed they have some serious scoring prowess with Nathan Sobey and Lamar Patterson the only two to score 20 points or more. Sobey top scored with 21 points while Patterson amassed 20 points for the game. Taylor Braun proved he is a force to be reckoned with 13 points and five rebounds credit to his efforts.

DC Medal: 3 – Andrew Bogut (SK), 2 – Casper Ware (SK), 1 – Lamar Patterson (BB)

South East Melbourne Phoenix (101) defeated Adelaide 36ers (91)

The Phoenix got back on track putting the 36ers away with a 10-point victory in front of their home crowd. The Phoenix were a very different look team compared to their previous outing, owning the court and imposing themselves on at every opportunity. It was neck and neck for large parts of the match with neither side really able to get much separation from the other before South East Melbourne pulled away in the second half. John Roberson proved to be the missing piece and went bang in the clash against the 36ers with 24 points, four rebounds and seven assists. Creek upped the ante from his last outing with 18 points while Ben Madgen slotted 15 points and Adam Gibson nailed 14 points to get their side over the line. For the 36ers Johnson continued his hot form with 20 points but it was the efforts of Ramone Moore that gave them that competitive edge slotting 17 points, five rebounds and three assists. Harry Froling was also important with his 11 points for Adelaide to keep them in it.

DC Medal: 3 – John Robertson (SEM), 2 – Daniel Johnson (AD), 1 – Mitch Creek (SEM)

Illawarra Hawks (76) defeated by Perth Wildcats (81)

The Wildcats kept the party train running with another hard-fought win while the Hawks failed to see out yet another four quarter performance. Despite being given chances the inexperienced Illawarra side have only managed one win in their seven games. It was both teams second game of the round with Perth coming out the better credit to their clever game play and shooting power with Cotton leading the way with 21 points. Alternatively Tim Coenraad was the most prominent shooter for the Hawks with 18 points and four rebounds. Ball well and truly upped the ante with 16 points, nine rebounds and seven assists while Andrew Ogilvy made his presence felt with nine points and nine rebounds. Damian Martin was crucial for the Wildcats amassing 10 rebounds thanks to his clever positioning and strong body work. Illawarra will also be counting the cost of the loss with Brooks ruled out for the season with a torn Achilles.

DC Medal: 3 – LaMelo Ball (IH), 2 – Bryce Cotton (PW), 1 – Nick Kay (PW)

Cairns Taipans (90) defeated Melbourne United (85)

Cairns Taipans moved up to fifth with a thrilling five-point win over last year’s grand finalists, Melbourne United last night. After United finally broke its winless drought to start the season, it hoped it could make it a second win on the road, but an exciting Taipans outfit proved too much. Despite trouncing them in the opening term, 31-19, Melbourne could not sustain the fierce pressure as the Taipans went into party mode, cutting the deficit to four by the main break, hitting the front at the last change and eventually getting up by five, 90-85. It was an even contribution from the Taipans, with Nathan Jawai top scoring with 18 points, while Cameron Oliver (17 points, 11 rebounds, two assists and two steals) and Machado (14 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and two steals) were the two most dominant Taipans. Newbill also racked up 16 points, while Majok Deng helped himself to 10 points, five rebounds and three assists. In his first game against his former side, Trimble picked up an equal game-high 21 points also recording four rebounds and three assists. However it was Long who was the dominant player on the court, particularly around the basket, recording a massive 18 rebounds to accompany his 21 points, and producing three blocks. McCarron was also strong again with 17 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two steals.

DC Medal: 3 – Shawn Long (MU), 2 – Scott Machado (CT), 1 – Cameron Oliver (CT)

DC Medal Leaderboard:

12 – Bryce Cotton (PW)
11 –
10 – Shawn Long (MU)
9 – Andrew Bogut (SK), Mitch Creek (SEP)
8 – John Robertson (SEM), LaMelo Ball (IH), Scott Machado (CT)
7 – Jae’sean Tate (SK), Nick Kay (PW), Cameron Oliver (CT)
6 – Lamar Patterson (BB), Daniel Johnson (AD)
5 – Aaron Brooks (IL), Scotty Hopson (NZ), Eric Griffin (AD), Melo Trimble (MU), Casper Ware (SK)
4 –
3 – Nathan Sobey (BB), Brad Newley (SK), AJ Ogilvy (IL), Sek Henry (NZ)
2 – Matt Hodgson (BB), Dario Hunt (PW), Terrico White (PW)
1 – DJ. Newbill (IL), Majok Deng (CT), Dane Pineau (SEM), Brandon Ashley (NZ)

NBL Round 3 review: Bogut steps up as Kings go outright top

IT was another big round of NBL action with South-East Melbourne Phoenix notching up their third consecutive win while it went down to the wire in the grand final rematch with Perth Wildcats clenching the game in the dying seconds.

Sydney Kings (96) defeated New Zealand Breakers (91)

In the first match of the round the Sydney Kings asserted themselves on the competition with a hard-fought win. It was tense couple of minutes in the last quarter with the Breakers leaving nothing to chance and working hard to break the Kings winning streak. But Casper Ware stood strong increasing the lead and ultimately helping to secure the win for his side. Ware finished the game with 27 points and five assists while Brad Newley also proved vital in the Kings win posting 17 points. Big man Andrew Bogut showcased his strength and knowledge positioning well under the ring and gobbling up anything that came his way recording 15 rebounds for the match along with five assists. For the Breakers, Scotty Hopson was handy on the scoreboard drawing level with Ware, notching up 27 points while Corey Webster also showed his hot hands with 21 points.

DC Medal: 3 – Andrew Bogut (SK), 2 – Scotty Hopson (NZ), 1 – Casper Ware (SK)

Perth Wildcats (76) defeated by Cairns Taipans (99)

The Taipans were not intimidated about playing the reigning premiers and entering the fortress of RAC Arena on Friday securing a 23-point win. Cairns came out with a real point to prove denying the Wildcats their usual ball movement and quite literally blocking their chances racking up five blocks. Perth struggled to make the most of their opportunities sitting at 32 percent for field goals compared to the Taipans 57 percent. Majok Deng was a game changer for the Taipans top scoring with 22 points while Cameron Oliver also accumulated 22 points and nine rebounds. Scott Machado also flexed his muscles for the Taipans in the convincing win with 18 points while Nathan Jawai racked up nine rebounds. Wildcats, Damian Martin played his part for the team with six assists and six rebounds while Nick Kay managed to throw his weight around and hit the scoreboard with 15 points.

DC Medal: 3 – Cameron Oliver (CT), 2 – Scott Machado (CT), 1 – Majok Deng (CT)

Adelaide 36ers (104) defeated Brisbane Bullets (98)

Both sides got out to a fast start before the 36ers put on the afterburners in the second quarter piling on 30 points to Brisbane’s 18. They controlled the flow and tempo of the game making the Bullets work for every pass but Brisbane did not let up staying in the match. Eric Griffin was crucial for Adelaide plying his trade and posing a threat amassing 22 points for the game and six rebounds. Daniel Johnson was handy across the court piling on 16 points while also imposing himself off the board with seven rebounds and four assists. Jerome Randle proved to be crafty with ball in hand releasing clever passes with five assists while also finding the net with 13 points. The Bullets were not without contributors with the likes of Lamar Patterson leading the way with a team-high 21 points. Matthew Hodgson had a solid outing for Brisbane with 16 points, five rebounds and two assists while Nathan Sobey and Jason Cadee both contributed 13 points apiece.

DC Medal: 3 – Eric Griffin (AD), 2 – Daniel Johnson (AD), 1 – Lamar Patterson (BB)

South East Melbourne Phoenix (106) defeated Illawarra Hawks (102)

It was a high intensity battle from the first buzzer with the Phoenix claiming the early ascendancy in front of their home crowd. The packed arena rode every second of the match with the game going down to the wire with Hawks, Tim Coenraad hitting a three-point shot to reduce the margin to four points, leaving their run all but a little too late. LaMelo Ball was influential once again with the youngster showcasing his talent with 11 points, seven rebounds and four assists. John Roberson proved too much to handle for the Hawks with the point guard running rampant across the court and backing himself from range scoring 26 points, four rebounds and 10 assists. Teammate, Mitch Creek was influential once again for the Phoenix notching up 23 points, six rebounds and five assists while Ben Madgen also posted a handy 14 points to get South-East Melbourne over the line and continue their unbeaten streak.

DC Medal: 3 – John Robertson (SEM), 2 – Mitch Creek (SEM), 1 – Dane Pineau (SEM)

New Zealand Breakers (66) defeated by Sydney Kings (76)

The Sydney Kings kept their unbeaten record with a 10-point win over the Breakers. It was a see-sawing affair with the Kings getting out to an early lead before the Breakers pegged it back with a 24 to 15 second quarter to head into the main break with a five point lead. But that did not seem to faze the Kings who pulled out all the stops in the last term keeping the Breakers to just eight points compared to their 19. New recruit, Ware did not look out of place hitting the scoreboard with ease and notching up a game-high 17 points. Bogut put on a masterclass off the backboard once again with a whopping 16 rebounds- double of the next closest, opposition player Robert Loe with eight. Jae’Sean Tate did not muck around posting 15 points while Bogut also managed 13 points to cap off his impressive afternoon. Webster was influential for the Breakers scoring 14 points for the game along with three assists while teammate, Hopson found the basket with 13 points but unfortunately their efforts were not enough to quell the Sydney Kings momentum.

DC Medal: 3 – Andrew Bogut (SK), 2 – Jae’Sean Tate (SK), 1 – Scotty Hopson (NZ)

Melbourne United (93) defeated by Perth Wildcats (95)

Cometh the moment cometh the man with Bryce Cotton sinking the sealer in the last seconds of the game to snatch victory from Melbourne United. It was an intense battle with both sides fighting hard and the lead changing hands continuously throughout the game credit to the intensity of the game. After only just touching down from their games in America, United well and truly put their best foot forward and were composed with ball in hand, making the most of their opportunities. Once again Chris Goulding led from the front pulling off an unthinkable pass and flexing his skill on the court with 17 points for the game. He was ably assisted by Melo Trimble who has not skipped a beat since swapping to United posting a team-high 21 points while Shawn Long also made his presence felt with 19 points and 12 rebounds. For the Wildcats, Cotton stood tall once again with 27 points, five rebounds and two assists with the most timely shot with 11 seconds left of the game. other key players such as Terrico White (19 points) and Kay (15 points) also played a major role causing havoc on the scoreboard.

DC Medal: 3 – Bryce Cotton (PW), 2 – Shawn Long (MU), 1 – Nick Kay (PW)

Illawarra Hawks (92) defeated by Adelaide 36ers (98)

It must have been a sense of déjà vu for these sides, with both teams finishing the game in almost identical circumstances to their earlier games over the weekend. Adelaide got up in a thriller, while the Hawks went down in an equally heart-breaking loss in a result that saw Adelaide move to just nine points differential behind Brisbane with a game in hand, while the Hawks remain in seventh, only ahead of the winless Melbourne United and New Zealand. In the match, it was Johnson who lit up the court with 21 points, 11 rebounds, two assists and one block for the 36ers, while Randle (15 points, two rebounds, three assists and one steal) and Ramone Moore (16 points, four rebounds and four assists) were also productive scorers. Anthony Drmic had nine rebounds to go with his six points to be an influence off the boards, as was Eric Griffin with seven and eight. For the Hawks, Aaron Brooks played his best game of the season, pouring on 31 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals for the Hawks, while Ball was again prominent all over the court with 15 points, six rebounds and eight assists. Sam Froling (12 points, five rebounds and three assists) was the other prominent scorer for the losers.

DC Medal: 3 – Aaron Brooks (IH), 2 – LaMelo Ball (IH), 1 – Daniel Johnson (AD)

DC Medal Leaderboard:

8 – Mitch Creek (SEP)
7 – Jae’sean Tate (SK), Bryce Cotton (PW)
6 – Andrew Bogut (SK)
5 – John Robertson (SEM), Lamar Patterson (BB), Scott Machado (CT), Aaron Brooks (IL)
4 – LaMelo Ball (IH), Nick Kay (PW), Shawn Long (MU), Daniel Johnson (AD)
3 – Melo Trimble (MU), Nathan Sobey (BB), Brad Newley (SK), AJ Ogilvy (IL), Casper Ware (SK), Scotty Hopson (NZ), Cameron Oliver (CT), Eric Griffin (AD)
2 – Matt Hodgson (BB), Dario Hunt (PW)
1 – Terrico White (PW), D.J. Newbill (IL), Majok Deng (CT), Dane Pineau (SEM)

NBL 2019/20 Weekend preview: Round 1 – Inaugural Throwdown opens season

SEVEN of the National Basketball League (NBL) sides begin their campaign this weekend with Melbourne United having a double-up in Round 1, while Adelaide 36ers and New Zealand Breakers have an extra week of pre-season ahead of their start in Round 2. We take a look at the four games across the weekend with one game on each day to satisfy fans across the country.

MELBOURNE UNITED vs. SOUTH EAST MELBOURNE PHOENIX
Thursday, October 3, 7.30pm
Melbourne Arena

The season opener is the inaugural ‘Throwdown’ between grand finalists, Melbourne United and new team on the block in South East Melbourne Phoenix. United is a proven talent that has lost some serious firepower, but also gained some at the same time which makes them very hard to tip against in the this contest. Melo Trimble made the massive move down south after a dominant season with Cairns, joining the likes of Chris Goulding, Mitch McCarron and the currently injured David Barlow. Shea Ili also crossed from the Breakers, with teammate Shawn Long also making the jump with the pair signing one-year deals. Sam McDaniel earned a full-time roster spot after a good season last year as a development player and continuing that form with the Southern Sabres in the NBL1.

South East Melbourne Phoenix have made it clear they are not in the competition to make up the numbers, with Sydney trio, Dane Pineau, Kyle Adnam and Deng Acuoth all joining the new franchise, with Brisbane’s Adam Gibson and arguably the top signing from the NBL contingent in New Zealand Breakers’ Tai Wesley. Seeing Wesley going head-to-head with Trimble will be great, but the most dangerous player is G-League and Boomers’ star Mitch Creek who tasted National Basketball Association (NBA) action last season and has come home to lead up the new franchise. As already mentioned, it is hard to tip against the established team in United, but with a few question marks over sore players, the Phoenix have more than enough talent to compensate and would love to open their NBL inaugural season with a win.

CAIRNS TAIPANS vs. SYDNEY KINGS
Friday, October 4, 7.30pm
Cairns Convention Centre

The Taipans finished last on the NBL table last season and will be keen to start the new season off on the right foot with an upset win over last year’s finalists, Sydney Kings. Playing in front of a home crowd, the Taipans will be without star Trimble who departed to join Melbourne, while Kuany Kuany will suit up for the opposition in this match. The Taipans managed to pinch Majok Deng from Adelaide, while mostly looking outside the country for new recruits with Los Angeles Lakers’ Scott Machado, G-League talent Cameron Oliver and Mirko Djeric from the European leagues coming into the side. They will need to be at their best and gel quickly if they are to make an impact early in the season, but will be able to rely on the likes of Jarrod Kenny, Nathan Jawai and DJ Newbill still running the court.

Sydney have made massive changes to its roster with just four players contracted that were on the list last season. NBL Most Valuable Player (MVP), Andrew Bogut will again be the centrepiece of the organisation, but this time he will have the talented Casper Ware who caused a stir crossing from rivals United to the Kings. Craig Moller joined him, while Shaun Bruce came from the 36ers with Kuany and Lucas Walker travelling south from Cairns. Brad Newley, Kevin Lisch and Daniel Kickert will look to create some stability in a side with the likes of young stars Brian Bowen (NBA) and Tom Wilson (AFL) both leaving the league completely. Despite the changes, Sydney head into this game as strong favourites, it will just be whether or not the Kings can gel with so many fresh faces in the door.

PERTH WILDCATS vs. MELBOURNE UNITED
Saturday, October 5, 5.30pm
RAC Arena

The match of the round is the Grand Final replay between reigning premiers Perth Wildcats, and unlucky runners-up United. The Wildcats are the most stable side of any team in the competition with eight players re-signed to the list, including crucial duo, Bryce Cotton and Terrico White. The pair will likely renew hostilities with Trimble and Ili who will rep the different colours in 2019/20. The ace in the pace is Dario Hunt who has joined the club from Italy, while Majok Majok transferred from New Zealand Breakers to the Wildcats over the off-season. With such an even team contribution leading to the premiership last season, the Wildcats should be no different in 2019/20 with so many ways to punish the opposition, led by the dominant Cotton.

United will head into this game with a match already in the books having taken on the Phoenix 46 hours prior. They will be keen to make the most of recovery, with the plane trip west likely to bring back some disappointing memories after going down to Perth in the deciding playoff series last year. They could start really strongly as the team that has had the first full game hitout in the round compared to the Wildcats who will undoubtedly celebrate last year’s success in front of the visiting side pre-game. But depending on how the Phoenix game goes, the Wildcats might have the fresher legs to finish the match which means it could be down to the wire. A win against their title nemesis would be crucial in the mental games for the season for Melbourne, while a win for the Wildcats will throw extra salt in the wounds for United. Trimble vs. Cotton is a much-watch battle to see which player can have the most impact for his club.

ILLAWARRA HAWKS vs. BRISBANE BULLETS
Sunday, October 6, 3pm
WIN Entertainment Centre

In the final game of the round, all eyes will be on LaMelo Ball as he makes his NBL debut against Brisbane Bullets at home in Illawarra. The potential 2020 NBA top draft pick will have plenty of exuberance in his first official game on Australian courts, teaming up with the likes of Josh Boone who was a massive recruit from United, while Aaron Brooks has returned after playing with Creek at the Timberwolves in the NBA. David Anderson, Todd Blanchfield, Tim Coenraad and Angus Glover all re-signed for the club that missed out on finals last season, while Sam Froling showed enough during the NBL1 to suggest he will be more than a handful for opposition clubs this season. Kevin White and Brian Conklin are among those who have departed the club, but largely as a whole, the Hawks have brought in far more talent than they have lost.

Brisbane announced a huge signing themselves over the off-season with Nathan Sobey signing on for three years from the 36ers. He will be the man to watch on the court, teaming up with Cam Gliddon and Jason Cadee as the key players within the Bullets’ arsenal. Like the Wildcats, they are a settled side with eight players re-signing from last season, as Adam Gibson and Jeremy Kendle were the key players to depart the club. This might be a tight contest given the relative unknown of the impact that the imports and recruits will have for the Hawks, with the Bullets having more of a known quantity. It got them to finals last season, and Sobey coming in will only strengthen the side. The Hawks should be marginally favourites due to the Triple B impact of Ball, Boone and Brooks, but the Bullets will not lie down in this contest.

NBL1 Men’s finals wash-up: Week 1 – Braves upset Tigers as favourites win elsewhere

BENDIGO Braves are through to the semi-finals after the eighth placed side upset fifth placed Melbourne Tigers in an elimination final at Melbourne Sports and Aquatic (MSAC) in the National Basketball League (NBL)1 first week of finals. The Braves will face Kilsyth Cobras who went down to minor premiers Ballarat Miners, whilst in the other semi-final, Nunawading Spectres will host Geelong Supercats.

GEELONG SUPERCATS 32 | 18 | 18 | 17 (85)
DANDENONG RANGERS 13 | 32 | 15 | 19 (79)

Geelong Supercats have kept their NBL1 title dreams alive with a see-sawing six-point win over Dandenong Rangers at home. The Supercats powered to a massive 19-point lead at quarter time, piling on 32 points in a big opening term. Whatever was said at the break must have helped the Rangers as they returned serve with 32 points of their own in the second quarter to cut the deficit to just five at the main break. The Supercats steadied in a lower scoring third term to lead by eight at the final break before holding on despite the away side’s best efforts, to win 85-79. Lewis Thomas posted up 26 points, three rebounds, two assists, four steals and two blocks, while Demarcus Gatlin had 17 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals in the win. Nick Owusu (16 points, five rebounds) and Anthony Williams (13 points) were also productive on the scoring end. For the losers, Dexter Kernich-Drew posted a team-high 20 points, as well as two rebounds and four steals, but it was Sam Froling who almost hauled his team across the line with 18 points and 16 rebounds – 13 defensive – as well as four blocks. Lucas Barker was creative across the court with 19 points, seven rebounds and six assists, while Tim Lang narrowly missed out on a double-double with 11 points, nine rebounds and four assists.

BALLARAT MINERS 22 | 23 | 20 |15 (80)
KILSYTH COBRAS 21 | 12 | 21 | 12 (66)

Ballarat Miners’ dominant second term of 23 points to 12 set up a 14-point win over a brave Kilsyth Cobras. The Miners move through to the Preliminary Finals after the victory, which saw them win three of the four quarters, but the 11-point second term differential was the ultimate factor in the win. The minor premiers now move through with a week off to play the winner of Nunawading Spectres and Geelong Supercats, while the Cobras face the Bendigo Braves who upset the Melbourne Tigers yesterday. Marqueze Coleman proved the impact bench players can have, coming off the pine to post a game-high 22 points, as well as seven rebounds, two assists and two steals. Kuany Kuany (18 points, six rebounds and two steals) contributed strongly, but both Josh Fox (18 points, 10 rebounds) and Deng Acuoth (10 points, 10 rebounds) picked up double-doubles in the victory. For the Cobras, Peter Hooley also had an impact off the bench collecting an equal team-high 16 points, as well as six rebounds – five defensive, while Isaac Turner also collected 16 points. Tohi Smith-Milner was a cause for concern off the boards with 13 points and 11 rebounds – eight defensive.

FRANKSTON BLUES 37 | 27 | 20 | 23 (107)
NUNAWADING SPECTRES 19 | 28 | 23 | 27 (97)

A fast-starting Frankston Blues outfit has set up a huge 10-point win over a fast-finishing Nunawading Spectres side. In one of those rare anomalies, Frankston won just one of the four quarters, but it was a dominant term, piling on 37 points to 19 in the first quarter to race out to an 18-point lead at the first break. From there Nunawading worked its way back into the contest, but could only cut back the deficit by one at the main break, down to 14 by the final break and eventually 10 at the final buzzer to be 107-97 winners at the end. Damon Bozeman was the standout player on the court with 28 points, six rebounds and three assists for Frankston, while Najeal Young had 21 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Majok Majok (18 points, eight rebounds) and Igor Hadziomerovic (14 points, eight rebounds) were again prolific off the boards. For Nunawading, Tom Wright picked up a team-high 21 points, three rebounds and three assists, whilst Simon Conn (17 points, 13 rebounds and two assists) was massive in trying to get his team across the line. Jack Saunders (15 points) and Costa Hronopoulos (14 points) were important coming off the bench in the loss. Now the Blues move through to the Preliminary Finals with a week off, while Nunawading host Geelong Supercats in the semi-finals.

MELBOURNE TIGERS 21 | 23 | 17 | 15 (76)
BENDIGO BRAVES 15 | 22 | 29 | 20 (86)

Bendigo Braves fairy-tale run continued on the weekend, showing they were far from making up the numbers in the finals series, toppling Melbourne Tigers despite a slow start. The Tigers were well on top at MSAC, an arena they had turned into a fortress since their only loss of the season there – ironically against Bendigo in Round 1 – to lead by six points at the first break and then extend that lead to seven by the major break. The scoring spread of the Braves kicked into gear in the third term as they piled on 29 points to 17 to retake the lead by five points, then they went on with the game in the final term with a 20-15 final quarter to win, 86-76. Ray Turner continued his great season form with 27 points and 15 rebounds, as well as two blocks and a steal. He was far from alone for the Braves however as Mathiang Muo (24 points, five rebounds) and Deonte Burton (20 point, nine rebounds, six assists) were both dominant close to the post. For the Tigers, Nic Pozoglou finished his season off strongly with 21 point, seven rebounds and a steal, while William Hickey and Jack Purchase both finished the game with 19 points and nine rebounds. The result meant Bendigo move through to face Kilsyth Cobras in the semi-finals, while Melbourne Tigers head to the off-season, unable to advance past the first week of finals despite the fifth placed finish.

NBL1 Men’s Round 15 review: Frankston grabs home final as Bendigo sneak in

WAVERLEY Falcons will be left wondering what could have been after back-to-back losses knocked the Falcons out of the top eight, missing out on finals by three points after going down to both Tasmanian sides and allowing Bendigo Braves back into the contest. In the standalone Friday night game, everything went according to play in the first term against Hobart Huskies for the Falcons to race to a 10-point lead, but the Huskies took control of the home court advantage to cut into the deficit and eventually run out on top with 13 more points in the second half. Jalen Adams put on a show for the home fans, sinking 35 points at a remarkable 84.2 per cent from the field, whilst picking up nine rebounds, three assists and two bocks. Tad Dufelmeier (18 points, six rebounds and eight assists) and Zachary White (17 points, six rebounds and three blocks) were also prominent for the Huskies. Dylan Travis was phenomenal for the Falcons, posting up 40 points along with four rebounds, three assists and three steals though it was all for nought, while Deondre McWhorter (16 points, 12 rebounds and three assists) also picked up a double-double. In the eight-point loss to North West Thunder to seal their fate, the Falcons again had a couple of big contributors with Travis (30 points, six rebounds, five assists and five steals) everywhere, while Bennie Lewis (33 points, three assists and two blocks) assisted with the scoring power, as McWhorter almost picked up another double-double with 15 points, nine rebounds and four assists. Nick Banyard sank 29 points and had 16 rebounds along with three assists for the Thunder, while Paul Campbell also picked up a double-double in the win, thanks to 15 points and 14 rebounds as well as five assists.

The team that benefited from Waverley’s demise was Bendigo Braves who caused an upset win against Geelong Supercats, denying the Supercats a double chance in the process. The Braves won each of the four quarters on their way to an impressive 84-67 victory that just might be the spur they needed heading into finals. Mathiang Muo posted 30 points, five rebounds and two assists, while Ray Turner was superb again with a double-double of 20 points, 12 rebounds and two assists. Deonte Burton (13 points, six rebounds and six assists) was the other Brave to make double-figure points. For the Supercats, Demarcus Gatlin impressed again with 20 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two steals, while Lewis Thomas (15 points, seven rebounds) and Ma’alo Hicks (12 points, six rebounds) tried hard.

Meeting the Braves in the first final is Melbourne Tigers who stood up when required, downing minor premiers Ballarat Miners by eight points, then toppling Eltham Wildcats by 12 the next day to lock up fifth spot, narrowly missing out on a double chance. The Tiers’ fast start against the Miners was key, as they piled on 27 points to 14 in the first term, and lead by 14 at the main break. The Miners hit back to cut the final margin to single digits, but it was a case of too little, too late. Dane Pineau and Nic Pozoglou went to town off the boards for the Tigers, combining for a mind-boggling 38 rebounds – more than the entire opposition side – whilst posting 18 points apiece and sharing in seven assists. Michael Luxford (seven assists) and Mike Wells (13 points) also played supporting roles in the win. For the Miners, it marked back-to-back losses heading into finals which might be a concern, but Marqueze Coleman (24 points, four rebounds and six assists), Sam Short (19 points, four rebounds and three assists) and Jerry Evans Jr (12 points, 11 rebounds) still had solid games. In the 82-70 victory over Eltham, Pineau had a game-high 22 points and 12 rebounds, while Pozoglou picked up 16 points and seven rebounds, as well as three assists and four steals. Young star William Hickey helped himself to a double-double with 10 points, 11 rebounds and three assists, while Jack Purchase (11 points, four rebounds and four assists) was also impressive. For the Wildcats, Adam Doyle picked up 16 points, four rebounds, five assists and two steals, while Geremy McKay (13 points, 11 rebounds) had a double-double and Ovie Magbegor (12 points, eight rebounds) was also solid off the boards.

Dandenong Rangers also played two matches over the weekend, but with mixed results, going down to Kilsyth Cobras to lose out on a potential double chance, before managing to secure seventh with an important win over Ringwood Hawks on Sunday. In the narrow defeat to Kilsyth, the Rangers lead at half-time before the Cobras piled on 27 points to 17 in the third term to set themselves up for a vital win. Tohi Smith-Milner sank 28 points, nine rebounds and four assists in the win, while Isaac Turner (23 points, three rebounds and two assists) and Sean MacDonald (16 points, five rebounds and seven assists) were both busy. For the Rangers, Dexter Kernich-Drew (22 points, four rebounds and five assists) was the top scorer, while Sam Froling (20 points, 10 rebounds) picked up a double-double, a feat Lucas Barker narrowly missed out on (eight points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and two steals). In the Rangers’ five-point victory over Ringwood in overtime, the players shared the points around with Froling (18 points, seven rebounds and four assists) topscoring, while Kernich-Drew (17 points, three rebounds and three assists) and Josh Oswald (17 points, eight rebounds) found plenty of points from the field, as did Barker (14 points, seven rebounds and nine assists) who again narrowly missed out on a double-double, and almost a triple-double. Shaun Clarke (24 points, nine rebounds) and Matthew Fennell (23 points, 15 rebounds) did the bulk of the damage for Ringwood along with Adrien Sturt (20 points, six rebounds and three assists).

Frankston Blues secured second spot with a vital 14-point win over Southern Sabres on Sunday. The Blues looked comfortable throughout the four quarters to win the first three terms and eventually get the points, 97-83. Majok Majok scored 21 points and had nine rebounds, while Alister Macdonald (13 points, three steals) and Igor Hadziomerovic (12 points, seven rebounds) were both busy across the court. For the Sabres, Rhys Carter stood up with 24 points, 10 rebounds and five steals, while Kingsley Box (15 points, five rebounds) and Sam McDaniel (13 points, 10 assists, six rebounds and two steals) were impressive. The Sabres had a second loss the day before, going down to Diamond Valley Eagles by just three points in a heartbreaker after leading throughout the match. Carter (18 points, four rebounds and six assists) and McDaniel (16 points, eight rebounds) were again prominent in defeat, while Jamie Batish had 11 points and three rebounds. Logan Hovey was the standout player on the court, picking up a double-double with 28 points and 10 rebounds, while Anthony Odunsi (20 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two steals), Joel Spear (15 points, four rebounds, five assists) and Ben Allen (13 points, five rebounds, five assists and five steals) were all prominent.

In the other games, Knox Raiders claimed a narrow three-point win over Albury Wodonga Bandits, while Nunawading Spectres finished the regular season with a win to give themselves a chance at second spot prior to Frankston’s win, after also getting up by three points over Eltham Wildcats. In Knox’s win, Adam Thoseby scored 20 points and had six rebounds, whilst Torren Jones was massive for the Bandits in defeat with 26 points and 14 rebounds. For the Spectres, Simon Conn (23 points, 18 rebounds) was one of four players to reach double-figure points on his side in the victory, while McKay (24 points, 10 rebounds) also picked up a double-double despite Eltham’s second defeat of the weekend.

Round 15 results:

Hobart Huskies 98 defeated Waverley Falcons 95
Albury Wodonga Bandits 96 defeated Knox Raiders 99*
Geelong Supercats 67 defeated by Bendigo Braves 84
Kilsyth Cobras 94 defeated Dandenong Rangers 86
North West Thunder 103 defeated Waverley Falcons 95
Diamond Valley Eagles 85 defeated Southern Sabres 82
Eltham Wildcats 94 defeated by Nunawading Spectres 97*
Ballarat Miners 78 defeated BY Melbourne Tigers 86
Dandenong Rangers 111 defeated Ringwood Hawks 106
Southern Sabres 83 defeated by Frankston Blues 97
Melbourne Tigers 82 defeated Eltham Wildcats 70

Final ladder:

1 Ballarat Miners 16-4
2 Frankston Blues 14-6 (lower percentage but head-to-head record has Blues slot into second)
3 Nunawading Spectres 14-6
4 Kilsyth Cobras 12-8
5 Melbourne Tigers 12-8
6 Geelong Supercats 12-8
7 Dandenong Rangers 11-9
8 Bendigo Braves 11-9

9 Hobart Huskies 10-10
10 Waverley Falcons 10-10
11 Diamond Valley Eagles 9-11
12 Albury Wodonga Bandits 8-12
13 North West Thunder 8-12
14 Knox Raiders 8-12
15 Basketball Australia CoE 8-12
16 Ringwood Hawks 6-14
17 Eltham Wildcats 6-14
18 Southern Sabres 5-15

Finals Week 1:

Ballarat Miners vs. Kilsyth Cobras
Frankston Blues vs. Nunawading Spectres
Melbourne Tigers vs. Bendigo Braves
Geelong Supercats vs. Dandenong Rangers

NBL1 Men’s Round 14 review: Waverley upsets minor premiers to keep finals dream alive

JUST 10 teams remain in the hunt for National Basketball League (NBL)1 finals after a big round of action over the weekend. Seven of the nine games on Friday and Saturday were won by the visiting teams in what would have been a disappointing round for home crowds. Three of the top four is settled with Ballarat Miners, Nunawading Spectres and Frankston Blues all earning double chances this year, while Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence’s season is now complete, currently sitting thirteenth but could slip to sixteenth depending on results in the final round next weekend.

Waverley Falcons’ never-say-die attitude was the highlight on the round as they strung together back-to-back wins over Knox Raiders, and remarkably, minor premiers Ballarat Miners. The on the road win against the Miners was the Falcons best of the season, winning by 13 points on Saturday. The Falcons started and finished strongly which was enough to get them the win in the 90-77 game, as Deondre McWhorter (29 points, 10 rebounds and two assists) and Dylan Travis (21 points, nine rebounds, eight assists and two steals) went to work. Deng Acuoth (21 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks) picked up a double-double for the Miners, while Sam Short (15 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals) was also prominent for the losing side. The Falcons then backed it up with a 10-point victory over Knox at home, with McWhorter (20 points, 13 rebounds, three steals and two blocks) and Travis (18 points, seven rebounds and five assists) again amongst the best, whilst Bennie Lewis top scored with 26 points. For the Raiders, Cadarian Raines (18 points, 11 rebounds) and Damon Heuir (15 points, six rebounds and four assists) were the two players to reach double-figure points.

Knox Raiders disappointing weekend was compounded by an earlier loss to Bendigo Braves, going down by just two points at home. Heuir again did all he could with 21 points, while James Hunter (13 points, seven rebounds) was the top player for the home side in the 2defeat. For the Braves, they had Ray Turner (26 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks) who was dominant once again, while Mathiang Muo (19 points, six rebounds) and Deonte Burton (12 points, five rebounds) were also busy in the win. The Braves bounced back from a home win the night before when they went down to Albury Wodonga Bandits on Friday. Bendigo led at quarter time but were overpowered after that to lose, 93-82. Muo (22 points, seven rebounds) again had some great work off the boards, while Turner (14 points, four rebounds and two assists) and Matthew Andronicos (13 points, four rebounds and two blocks) were also solid. The Bandits had too many scoring options however as Torren Jones (22 points, nine rebounds and four steals), Deba George (21 points, four rebounds, five assists and five steals) and Ken-Jah Bosley (20 points, four rebounds, seven assists and three steals) all combined to form a dominant scoring trio.

Basketball Centre of Excellence’s (CoE) weekend came to a close with one win from three games, defeating Eltham Wildcats on Friday night by four points, before going down to Hobart Huskies (18 points) and Southern Sabres (four points) in games on Saturday and Sunday respectively. In the CoE’s win over Eltham, Angus Glover (29 points, four rebounds, two assists and three steals) was prominent, while Tamuri Wigness (18 points, three rebounds and six assists) and Hunter Clarke (12 points, seven rebounds and six assists) were also very good. For the Wildcats, Adam Doyle (24 points, three steals) top scored, while Dave Schaffert (21 points, two rebounds) also finished with a strong points tally. Geremy Mckay was the most dominant across the court with 12 points, 10 rebounds and three assists in the loss. In the CoE’s loss to Hobart, Clarke was the sole scorer over 20 points with 25, as well as four rebounds, whilst Josh Kunen came close to a double-double with 15 points and nine rebounds, as did Kian Dennis (12 points, nine rebounds) and Wil Tattersall (eight points, nine rebounds). For the Huskies, Matthew Young (28 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals), Jalen Adams (26 points, two rebounds, three assists and two steals) and Tad Dufelmeier (18 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals) were brilliant once again. After leading at three quarter time, the CoE went down to cellar dwellers Southern Sabres on Sunday. Glover (21 points, five rebounds) and Wigness (22 points, four rebounds and 12 assists) were busy, as were Kunen (12 points, 10 rebounds) and Tattersall (18 points, eight rebounds). Damaging Sabres’ duo David Barlow (26 points, five rebounds) and Sam McDaniel (20 points, 10 rebounds) helped get their team home with strong performances.

Frankston’s remarkable winning streak continued on the weekend, making it seven consecutive victories following their win over Kilsyth Cobras. In completing the massive 35-point win, the Blues guaranteed themselves a double chance, sitting third on the table with a round to go. They shared the points around, as Lachlan Barker (19 points, three rebounds), Daniel Trist (15 points, 12 rebounds and three assists) and Damon Bozeman (14 points, five rebounds and three assists) were among six players who reached double-figure points. Isaac Turner was a lone hand for Kilsyth with the Cobras missing star Peter Hooley, and Tohi Smith-Milner suffering an injury early in the game, as Turner finished with 28 points and five rebounds. Also giving themselves best chance of a finals spot was Dandenong Rangers who overcame Albury Wodonga Bandits in a 21-point victory on the road. Sam Froling was terrific with 29 points, three rebounds and two assists, while Lucas Barker (21 points, eight assists, five rebounds and three steals) was the Rangers’ best. Bosley was the most prominent scorer for the Bandits with 20 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals, while Jones racked up a mammoth 19 rebounds to go with his 13 points. Kilsyth did get a win on the weekend when they triumphed over top two side Nunawading Spectres by five points on the road. Turner posted 26 points, whilst Smith-Milner showed his importance to the Cobras with 18 points and 18 rebounds – 16 defensive – to be a serious problem for the Spectres. Tom Wright had a match-high 28 points for the Spectres, as well as five rebounds and five assists, while Lucas Walker (15 points, nine rebounds) was also prominent despite the loss.

Outside the Huskies’ win over the CoE, it was not a great weekend for the Tasmanian sides, with the Huskies going down to Melbourne Tigers by a heartbreaking one-point margin, while North West Thunder suffered defeats at the hands of Ringwood Hawks and Diamond Valley Eagles. The Huskies were blown away by the Tigers in the opening term, but hit back to trail by seven at the main break, and whilst they managed to get back on even terms, fell a points short by the final buzzer. Adams (30 points, eight rebounds) and Dufelmeier (28 points, three rebounds, four assists and two steals) renewed their dominance on the court despite it not quite being enough. Melbourne had a quartet of big scorers, with Dane Pineau (31 points, 11 rebounds) and Nic Pozoglou (18 points, 12 rebounds) picking up double-doubles, as did Michael Luxford (12 points, 11 rebounds). North West Thunder capitulated after half-time, having raced out to a 17-point lead, only for Ringwood to pile on 59 points to 28 in a complete rout. Matthew Fennell (18 points, 10 rebounds) helped himself to a double-double for the Hawks, while Adrien Sturt (16 points, six rebounds and four blocks) and Jacob Gibson (16 points, three rebounds and three assists) were busy. For the Thunder, Nick Banyard (22 points, seven rebounds) top scored, whilst Jordan Bowling picked up a double-double with 15 points and 16 rebounds. In the 14-point loss to Diamond Valley Eagles, Banyard and Bowling combined for 43 points, 22 rebounds, six assists and four steals as the two dominant players in the loss. The Eagles shared it around with three key scorers, led by Logan Hovey (25 points, nine rebounds and three assists) and Anthony Odunsi (25 points, two rebounds and six assists), while Ben Allen (22 points, 14 rebounds, two assists and three steals) had a double-double.

Round 14 results:

Eltham Wildcats 87 defeated by Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence 91
Bendigo Braves 82 defeated by Albury Wodonga Bandits 93
Nunawading Spectres 82 defeated by Kilsyth Cobras 87
Albury Wodonga Bandits 83 defeated by Dandenong Rangers 104
Ballarat Miners 77 defeated by Waverley Falcons 90
Hobart Huskies 105 defeated Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence 87
Ringwood Hawks 90 defeated North West Thunder 76*
Knox Raiders 78 defeated by Bendigo Braves 80
Kilsyth Cobras 58 defeated by Frankston Blues 93
Southern Sabres 92 defeated Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence 88
Diamond Valley Eagles 104 defeated North West Thunder 90*
Waverley Falcons 83 defeated Knox Raiders 73
Melbourne Tigers 94 defeated Hobart Huskies 93*

NBL1 Men’s Round 9 review: Supercats win down south as Spectres and Tigers continue good form

GEELONG Supercats, Nunawading Spectres and Melbourne Tigers all maintained their winning streaks with important wins as Ballarat Miners slipped up against the in-form Frankston Blues, and now sit just one win clear of the Spectres in the National Basketball League (NBL)1 men’s competition. The Spectres travelled up to the border to face Albury Wodonga Bandits and came home with the win after a dominant first half put them 19 points clear at the main break. The home side fought back to cut it to a 13-point deficit at the final break, but the Spectres steadied to win by 18 points, 97-79. Dain Swetalla was the standout player with 34 points, 11 rebounds and five assists, while Tom Wright (12 points, five rebounds and four assists) and Andrew Steel (10 points, eight rebounds) were others who stood tall for the visitors. Emmanuel Malou picked up a double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds, as did Torren Jones (14 points, 11 rebounds), but the creativity up the forward half was left to Deba George (16 points, seven assists) and Ken-Jah Bosley (15 points, five assists and six rebounds) who combined for 12 of the team’s 14 assists.

The Bandits also suffered a loss at the hands of the red-hot Melbourne Tigers on Sunday, going down by 13 points at MSAC. The Bandits led by two points at quarter time, but it was all the Tigers after that, running out 104-91 winners. Nic Pozoglou continued his great form this season with a massive 34 points, 12 rebounds – eight offensive – and four assists, while Mike Wells (17 points, three rebounds, four assists and two steals) and William Hickey (15 points, eight rebounds, two assists, two steals and three blocks) were also impressive. For the Bandits it was a two-man show with Jones and Bosley doing all the damage. Jones had a massive 37 points and 21 rebounds – 12 defensive and nine offensive – while Bosley finished with 21 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in the loss.

Geelong Supercats had a fruitful trip down to Tasmania, recording back-to-back wins over Hobart Huskies and North West Thunder on Friday and Saturday. The Supercats recorded a nice 11-point win over the Huskies on Friday night, controlling the second term on their way to a 81-70 victory. The points were shared around but it was Ma’alo Hicks who caught the eye on the night thanks to 12 points, 18 rebounds and four assists, while Demarcus Gatlin (15 points, nine rebounds, five assists and two steals) and Lewis Thomas (12 points, nine rebounds, two assists and one steal) were prominent for the winners. Jacob Richards (14 points, three rebounds) top-scored for the Huskies, while Jalen Adams had nine points and seven rebounds, one less rebound than Zachary White who also picked up nine points, as well as three assists. In Geelong’s nine-point victory over the Thunder, Gatlin went on a spree, scoring 39 points and taking home four rebounds and six assists, while Thomas picked up a double-double with 12 points and 15 rebounds – 14 defensive. Hicks (11 points, nine rebounds) and Liam McInerney (10 points, seven rebounds) were also impressive off the boards. For the Thunder, Tre Armstrong (18 points, seven rebounds and three assists), Nick Banyard (18 points, six rebounds) and Paul Campbell (10 points, 11 rebounds) all showed strong signs in the tight loss.

Ballarat Miners had a mixed weekend with the top side downing Ringwood Hawks, before a surprise loss to Frankston Blues. In the big 22-point win over the Hawks, Ballarat won every quarter in a convincing performance as Kuany Kuany picked up a game-high 23 points as well as six rebounds. Deng Acuoth was superb off the boards with 16 rebounds and four assists, while Marqueze Coleman had 21 points, three assists and two steals. For the Hawks, Matthew Fennell continued his good defensive work with 20 points, seven rebounds and two blocks, while Jacob Gibson had 20 points, four rebounds and two assists, while Joey Miller (14 points, five rebounds and nine assists) was creative. In the defeat to Frankston, it was a 52-41 first half that caught the Miners off guard and while they managed to cut the deficit to seven points by the final break, could not quite get the win. Josh Fox was strong for the losing side with 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Coleman had another 16 points as well as seven rebounds, three assists and two steals. For the Blues, Damon Bozeman was the star shooter with 27 points and four rebounds, while Majok Majok and Najeal Young shared 18 points and 19 rebounds in a superb team effort.

The Hawks did pick up a surprise win over the Braves however running out 74-68 winners on the back of a massive 23-13 last term having trailed at every break. Fennell had a big game with 14 points, six rebounds, four assists and two blocks, while Adrien Sturt had 15 points, seven rebounds and two blocks. Ray Turner was the standout player on the court in Bendigo’s defeat to the bottom two side, posting up 25 points, 16 rebounds, three assists and three blocks, while Matthiang Muo was also solid with 22 points and eight rebounds. The Braves’ loss came after a comfortable 27-point win over last placed Southern Sabres. Muo was busy once again with 25 points, five rebounds and two assists, while Turner had another all-round game, posting 15 points, eight rebounds, two assists and two steals. Nicholas Gabsch was the star for the Sabres, finishing the match with 22 points and five rebounds. Meanwhile Frankston’s upset win over Ballarat followed a shock loss to Diamond Valley Eagles, going down by 13 points to break their winning streak. The Eagles were in control for most of the contest after half-time, posting 48 points to 36 in the 99-86 vicotry. Logan Hovey led the points total with 25, as well as five rebounds for the Eagles, while Ben Allen had a double-double with 20 points, 13 rebounds and four assists. Anthony Odunsi (22 points, five rebounds, six assists and four steals) was the other prominent player for the winning side. Majok (18 points, 12 rebounds) and Young (eight points, 10 rebounds) were again the main Frankston rebounders, while Igor Hadziomerovic top-scored for the Blues with 17 points.

Another side that had mixed results over the weekend was Kilsyth Cobras, going down in a tight five-point loss to Eltham Wildcats, before posting an easy 33-point win over Waverley Falcons. The Cobras were on the back foot early with an 11-point quarter time deficit and while they managed to peg their way back, could not get in front. Geremy McKay was best-on for the Wildcats, posting 20 points, nine rebounds and four assists, while Josh Sykes (16 points, nine rebounds and three blocks) was prominent again, as was scorer Adam Doyle (17 points, four assists). For the Cobras, Chris Patton was the standout player with 25 points and 12 rebounds, while Tohi-Smith Miller was the other player who impressed with 12 points and eight rebounds, one less rebound than Owen Odigie who picked up seven points and nine rebounds. There was no slow start against the Falcons, with the Cobras putting the result to bed by half-time and leading by as much as 37 points at the final break. They shared the points around with Sean MacDonald leading the way with 19 and three assists, while Patton had 13 points, 12 rebounds and four assists. Odigie also had 12 rebounds to go with his nine points and three steals. In the other game of the round, Dandenong Rangers got the points against Knox Raiders, coming from behind to post a 81-76 win. The Rangers led by 17 points at quarter time but that had evaporated over the next two quarters as the Raiders led by seven at the final break. Just in time the visitors picked up and scored 22 points to 10 in the last term to secure a relieving five-point win. Dexter Kernich-Drew top-scored with 17 points, but it was the rebounding work of Sam Froling (15 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and two steals) and Tim Lang (eight points, 11 rebounds and three assists)that was most impressive. For the Raiders, it was Mike Rose (21 points, six rebounds and two assists) and Adam Thoseby (20 points, five assists) who did the bulk of the scoring, well aided by Cadarian Raines (14 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two blocks).

Results:

Hobart Huskies 70 defeated by Geelong Supercats 81
North West Thunder 85 defeated by Geelong Supercats 94
Diamond Valley Eagles 99 defeated Frankston Blues 86
Bendigo Braves 100 defeated Southern Sabres 73
Eltham Wildcats 79 defeated Kilsyth Cobras 74
Albury Wodonga Bandits 79 defeated by Nunawading Spectres 97
Ballarat Miners 101 defeated Ringwood Hawks 79
Knox Raiders 76 defeated by Dandenong Rangers 81
Ringwood Hawks 74 defeated Bendigo Braves 68
Frankston Blues 87 defeated Ballarat Miners 80
Waverley Falcons 68 defeated by Kilsyth Cobras 101
Melbourne Tigers 104 defeated Albury Wodonga Bandits 91

NBL1 Men’s Round 8 review: Thrillers excite fans as top sides continue winning ways

A COUPLE of one-point thrillers, including one to open the round was what National Basketball League (NBL)1 spectators were treated to in a big Round 8 of action. With 14 games played across three days, plenty of sides travelled around the southern parts of Australia, with Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence (CoE) playing three games, two in Victoria and one in Tasmania. They came away with two victories from their matches, and fell one-point short in the round opener against Diamond Valley Eagles. In that game, the Eagles took a two-point lead into half-time and then extended it to seven by the final break. The CoE roared into life in the final term, scoring 35 points to 29, but fell one point short of victory to go down, 83-82. Logan Hovey scored 29 points and had eight rebounds for the Eagles, while Ben Allen was equally impressive off the boards with 15 points and eight rebounds, as well as three assists and two steals. For the CoE, Alex Ducas again topscored with 16 points, also raking in nine rebounds, three assists and three steals. Josh Bannan and Tamuri Wigness also reached double-figure points, while Josh Kunen recorded seven rebounds for the game to go with his eight points.

In the two wins, the CoE knocked off Waverley Falcons by 28 points, before making the trip south to face North West Thunder in Tasmania, and came away with the points in a narrow 66-59 win. In the win over Waverley, Kunen had a team-high 16 points as well as four rebounds and three assists, while Blake Jones helped himself to 15 points and six rebounds. Hunter Goodrick was the star off the boards with 15 rebounds – 11 defensive. For the Falcons, Deondre McWhorter was again the standout with 19 points and five rebounds, while Bennie Lewis achieved a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds. In the victory over the Thunder, Goodrick had a best-on-court performance with a huge 23 points and 16 rebounds, while Will Tattersall was the other player to reach double figures, posting 12 points and four rebounds. For the home side, Paul Campbell recorded 15 points and nine rebounds, while Jordan Bowling and Joseph Chilcott both had 14 points and six rebounds.

The Thunder had also made the trip back home after a loss to Ballarat Miners on Saturday. The top-of-the-table Miners proved too good on their way to a 27-point win at home. Jerry Evans Jr continued his remarkable form this season with 26 points, 11 rebounds and three steals, while Deng Acuoth had 12 points and eight rebounds, and Marqueze Coleman picked up 18 points and four steals. For the Thunder, Bowling was the clear standout with 25 points, nine rebounds, two assists and two steals, while Chilcott was the other player to reach double figures with 12 points and four rebounds. In their second game for the round, Ballarat had no troubles dismissing Southern Sabres in a top-versus-bottom clash. The Miners raced to a 34-point lead by the final break, with both teams evenly matched in the last term with the game done and dusted. Coleman top scored with 22 points and six steals, while Evans Jr had 17 points and six rebounds. Acuoth finished with 13 points and seven rebounds for his efforts. Sam Short was the other standout player with 11 points, six rebounds, eight assists and three steals. For the Sabres, Nicholas Gabsch was by far the standout player, recording 24 points, nine rebounds and two assists in the loss.

After winning a thriller against the CoE, the Eagles were on the receiving end of a thrilling loss. They went down to Knox Raiders in a three-point defeat despite winning the second half by eight points. Hovey was the standout shooter with 25 points, nine rebounds, three assists and three steals, while Liam Thomas picked up a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds. For the winners, Mike Rose had a team-high 23 points as well as five rebounds, while James Hunter (11 point, 10 rebounds) and Cadarian Raines (10 points, 11 rebounds) both picked up double-doubles. Knox could not back up that winning form against Melbourne Tigers at MSAC however, going down by 13 points due to a second quarter fadeout. The Tigers scored 27-19 in the term, with each other quarter only being no more than two points difference. Mike Wells had 26 points, four rebounds, two assists and three steals, while Michael Luxford (25 points, six rebounds and eight assists) and Nic Pozoglou (18 points, 11 rebounds and five assists) were also standout players on the day. For the Raiders, Rose added another 27 points to his season tally, while Damon Heuir had 25, and Raines picked up 14 points, nine rebounds and four assists in the defeat.

The two sides chasing Ballarat Miners at the top of the table, Nunawading Spectres and Geelong Supercats both recorded solid wins, with the Spectres getting up against the Bendigo Braves 89-74, while the Supercats survived in a tight game over Dandenong Rangers. Dain Swetalla (26 points, eight rebounds) and Simon Conn (20 points, 10 rebounds) again led the way for the Spectres, while Bendigo’s Ray Turner posted 26 points, 16 rebounds and four wins in the loss. The Supercats had a big effort from Lewis Thomas (21 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals), while Demarcus Gatlin (15 points, 10 rebounds) picked up another double-double and Ma’alo Hicks had 14 rebounds, four assists and two blocks in an impressive defensive effort. For the Rangers, Dexter Kernich-Drew led the way with 16 points as well as four rebounds and two assists, while Tim Laing registered a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

The other one-point thriller was Frankston Blues’ 101-100 win over Ringwood Hawks. The win catapulted the Blues into the top 10, with their fifth consecutive victory. The Blues looked in firm control with an eight-point lead at the final break, but had to survive a Hawks scare who scored 25 points to 18 in the final term, only to fall one-point short. Remarkably, the Blues only won the first term, but the convincing 32-19 quarter set them up for the game. Damon Bozeman had 28 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, while Majok Majok recorded a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds. For the Hawks, Jacob Gibson recorded 32 points, five rebounds, three assists, three steals and two two blocks, while Matthew Fennell finished with 24 points and five rebounds.

In the remaining games, Albury Wodonga Bandits got up with a much-needed win, defeating the out-of-sorts Kilsyth Cobras, 89-86. Deba George had a day out with 37 points, four rebounds, six assists and three blocks, while Torren Jones denied the Cobras time and time agin, with 17 points, 18 rebounds – 16 defensive – and two blocks. For the Cobras, Peter Hooley had 22 points, four assists and three steals. Dandenong Rangers also knocked off Bendigo Braves to bounce back from their loss to Geelong the day before, with Sam Froling (21 points, seven rebounds two assists and two blocks) the standout player, while Matthiang Muo (25 points, six rebounds) was impressive for the Braves. Meanwhile Eltham Wildcats grabbed the points against Hobart Huskies in an 11-point win. Josh Sykes was the star for the Wildcats, finishing with 18 points and being a constant threat at both ends, taking home 15 rebounds – 14 of which were defensive. For the Huskies, Jalem Adams picked up a double-double too, with 23 points, 10 rebounds, seven steals and two blocks.

Round 8 results:

Diamond Valley Eagles 83 defeated Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence 82
Geelong Supercats 74 defeated Dandenong Rangers 69
Nunawading Spectres 89 defeated Bendigo Braves 74
Knox Raiders 80 defeated Diamond Valley Eagles 77
Ballarat Miners 94 defeated North West Thunder 67
Albury Wodonga Bandits 89 defeated Kilsyth Cobras 86
Waverley Falcons 67 defeated by Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence 95
North West Thunder 59 defeated by Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence 66
Ringwood Hawks 100 defeated by Frankston Blues 101
Southern Sabres 66 defeated by Ballarat Miners 100
Melbourne Tigers 98 defeated Knox Raiders 85
Dandenong Rangers 94 defeated Bendigo Braves 76
Eltham Wildcats 82 defeated Hobart Huskies 71