Finals August 11&12 Previews

Another week of Big V action is upon us! Read about each of the competition’s twelve divisions as they prepare for the weekend of fixtures.

State Championship Men
State Championship Women
Division One Men
Division One Women
Division Two Men
Division Two Women
Molten Victorian Youth Championship Men
Molten Victorian Youth Championship Women
Youth League One Men
Youth League One Women
Youth League Two Men
Youth League Two Women


State Championship Men

Ringwood (1st) vs. McKinnon (6th)

Meetings this season

R3: McKinnon 98 def. Ringwood 91
R17: Ringwood 95 def. McKinnon 81

From the coaches

Ken Harrington (Ringwood)

“This has been the closest Big V Championship Men’s season for many years. There is just very little between the teams from first to 7th. We are very happy to get that home court advantage as McKinnon have a great record at home with 8 wins from their 11 games. To pinch game one we will have to do a great job on Adrian Tomada who has had a great season using his speed and improved perimeter shot. Dillon Stith is a proven match winner who has had another great season and has enjoyed the addition of Deng Deng who is a great bookend. Ivan (Platenik) and Jermaine (Maybank) need no introduction to Big V fans and are great veterans who have caused us many headaches over the years. We will need to closely watch all those guys and the bench including Mueller and Tamir. It will be a great game one, very entertaining and a lot of fun to watch, unless you’re one of the Coaches of course. Enjoy.”

Justin Nelson (McKinnon)

“It’s great to have progressed through to the semi-finals, the team is playing well and playing with confidence. We face a tough series against Ringwood, arguably the best team in SCM over the last 5 years, maybe more, so we are under no illusions whatsoever just how big this next hurdle is. The Hawks are loaded with proven stars, so we’ll keep our heads down, work extremely hard at both ends and focus on executing our game plan. We plan to play with freedom and hopefully we can be at our best, because anything less won’t be good enough.”

Overview

The Cougars are into the semis after a resounding road win last week, but thinks only get tougher as they square off with Ringwood. McKinnon gets an early chance to take care of their home court, which will be essential if they are any chance of staging an upset and progressing to the big dance. Both teams are stacked with talent and have been tough to topple at home, and you can expect that trend to continue here. The Hawks have an extra game in their own gym and that is massive.

Prediction

Ringwood 2-1

 

Eltham (2nd) vs. Hawthorn (4th)

Meetings this season

R11: Hawthorn def. Eltham 69-66
R16: Eltham def. Hawthorn 98-78

From the coaches

Trevor Lee (Eltham)

Comment unavailable at time of print.

Peter Godfrey (Hawthorn)

“We are looking forward to hosting Eltham at BSC on Saturday night in the first of the 3 game semi-final series. Our fans were great last week v Casey and we are hoping they will turn out again to help the Team. Finishing 9th last season our aim and plan was to make it to the Final 4 in 2018. Once in the Final 4 anything can happen. There’s no such thing as an easy Final though. Eltham is arguably the deepest team in the competition, loaded with talent in every spot, and is very well coached. The Wildcats have been in the SCM playoffs mix for the last 3 or 4 seasons also so they know what it takes over a 3 game series. We know Eltham is hungry for the 2018 title, so we are expecting to have our work cut out for us for sure. Getting the W at home on Saturday night is a must for the young Magic.”

Overview

The Magic continued their fairytale season of growth with a gritty win over the experienced Cavs last week. The ‘Cats pose an all new challenge, however, with a roster that looks destined to challenge for the title over the next few weeks. The week off will certainly benefit Eltham and the Magic will need to feed off the energy from their home fans once again in game one if they are any chance. They are riding a wave of momentum after last week’s victory and will take that into Saturday’s contest. A win makes things interesting, but even then they will need to take a game off Eltham in their gym and that will prove incredibly tough.

Prediction

Eltham 2-1


State Championship Women

Knox vs Sunbury

Sat 7:30pm Waverley Basketball Centre

Meetings this season

R4: Sunbury 70 lost to Knox 78

R10: Knox 78 def Sunbury 68

From the coaches

Matt Shanahan (Knox)

We are looking forward to the challenge playing Sunbury. They are definitely the form side of the competition and we will need to compete at a high level this weekend to have a chance.

Kennedy Kereama (Sunbury)

After a good weekend and positive result against Waverley, it’s back to square one again as we prepare for another quality side. The competition gets no easier in finals as we face the regular season’s best. Knox have been playing great basketball all season long and no doubt it will take a well‐executed game plan to beat them. They space the floor very well, shoot the ball at a very good clip and have a number of players who share the scoring load. We will have to make sure we don’t have any similar lapses like our 3rd qtr last weekend. Our best in my opinion is good enough to beat anybody, but we will need to be consistently good in all 4 quarters. I think experience at all levels of basketball is something we have in our favour and I am confident our group will be ready for the challenge. To beat Knox you have to be prepared to grind for 40min.

Overview

Very few would argue that we are looking at the competition’s two in-­‐form teams. Despite losing twice to Knox during the regular season, Sunbury is flying right now and will carry in confidence after last week’s win. The Raiders should have Mijovic back, which will be a great boost. A spot in the GF is up for grabs and it will take a very special performance to take it.

Prediction

Sunbury by 2pts

Waverley vs Sth Peninsula

Sun 2pm Waverley Basketball Centre

Meetings this season

R6: Sth Peninsula 72 lost to Waverley 76

R13: Waverley 64 def Sth Peninsula 60

From the coaches

Matt Bongetti (Waverley)

No comment received.

Gerard Hillier (Sth Peninsula)

We’ve had two really good hit outs vs Waverley so far this season, both going the way of the Falcons, so we are looking forward to another chance to get a win against them in season 2018. Obviously, they have some quality players that we’re going to have to try and restrict, but we’re up for the challenge and I know our young crew will compete hard for the full 40 minutes, end to end.

Overview

Always an interesting game in a top‐5 finals system as one team (Sharks) comes in off a win, while the other (Falcons) comes in off a loss. Will it be a factor? The Falcons at least will be on their home deck, but that didn’t help them last week. Strong, solid and experienced, the Falcons have some real smarts and will need to use their experience to good effect against a young and ambitious Sharks team. For the visitors, they simply have no fear and will run relentlessly in pursuit of going another step deeper in finals. That nothing‐to­‐lose mentality might be the difference in a close contest.

Prediction

Sth Peninsula by 5pts


Division One Men

Western Port vs. Chelsea

Sat 6:30pm David Collings Indoor Leisure Centre

Meetings this season

R1: Chelsea 90 def Western Port 74
R8: Western Port 80 lost to Chelsea 87

From the coaches

Luke Sunderland (Western Port)

Heading into a three-­‐game series brings up a series of challenges. To get here after the team only winning 6 games last season is a great achievement so far but we are confident we still have some wins left in us. Coming up against an in-­‐form Chelsea outfit will be a great test to see where we are. Both teams look very different earlier in the season when we met and we both have the best form over the last ten games each. We have nothing to lose playing everyone’s tip for the title.

Peter Caspersz (Chelsea)

We know exactly how tough WP are going to be and their form over the last month and a bit has been terrific. The form of Dylan Travis has also been outstanding and his support crew have all played their roles perfectly so we are in for a tough couple of weeks. In saying that we have also been in some pretty good form and I hope that will continue for at least another month and the trust we have in each other has been something that we rely heavily on and its game on this weekend.

Overview

The Gulls have the wood on the Steelers this season, but let’s face it – they have the wood on everyone. Mitch Riggs proved to be a fantastic inclusion for the title favourite and right now they look unstoppable. Having said that, if anyone can stop them it might just be Dylan Travis. Great match-­‐up, Steelers must win at home, but overcoming Standerfer and his Gulls might be a mountain too big to climb.

Prediction

Chelsea 2-0

 

Shepparton vs. Keysborough

Sat 7:30pm Shepparton Sports Stadium

Meetings this season

R4: Shepparton 75 lost to Keysborough 79

R16: Keysborough 72 def Shepparton 70

From the coaches

Leigh Bathman (Shepparton)

Exciting to advance to the final 4 teams, new format is also exciting as we head into a 3-­‐game series against a very deep, talented and well-­‐balanced Keysborough outfit. Although Keysy have prevailed in two epic encounters during the season, we know we are not far away and finals basketball is a whole new ball game. Confident our best is good enough, if we can reproduce last week’s form and get the same fantastic crowd support we will be right in this series. The boys are really keen to ride the momentum out of last week’s game and sometimes that is easier to do when you’re not sitting around waiting for a week or two. Some good talent on display, it will be a fiercely contested series.

Nathan Vogt (Keysborough)

I’m really proud of the way my guys have played all year. This group has really embraced the underdog status and will be going up to Shepparton free of pressure, to just get out, have fun and play. After a long tough season, we go in into this game well prepared, refreshed and ready after the week off. We know Shepparton are one of the best supported clubs in the league and will have a packed house. They’ll throw everything into this game to not disappoint their fans in what is arguably one of the best home court advantages in the league.

Overview

To put it simply – the Gators MUST win on their home deck, because it is highly unlikely they can win twice at Rowville. Look for the home crowd to get their team home is a classic.

Prediction

Shepparton 2-1


Division One Women

Casey (1st) vs. Geelong (4th)

G1: AWA Alliance Bank Stadium, 5pm

G2/3: Casey Stadium, TBA

Meetings this season

R5: Geelong defeated Casey 64-61

R14: Casey defeated Geelong 78-49

From the coaches

Alex Palazzolo (Casey)

“Firstly congratulations to the teams that have progressed to the Semi Finals in what has been a very tight and competitive season. Our team is excited and looking forward to the challenge ahead and playing an opponent in Geelong that has a great history in the play offs presents a fantastic challenge and opportunity for our group. We’re prepared as well as we can be and are ready to go!”

Natalie Hughes (Geelong)

Quotes not available before publication. 

Overview

The Cavs have all the bells and whistles. An almighty roster kicking down the door of State Champ, it’s hard to see anyone going toe-to-toe with them over the journey. Geelong’s impressive recent form run shows the might of the regional titans, but is it enough to knock over Casey? What changes can they implement from the Round 14 demolition the Cavs dished out? There’s an awful lot they will need to execute perfectly to get rid of the Cavaliers.

Prediction

Casey 2-0

 

Mildura (2nd) vs. Warrnambool (3rd)

G1: The ARC Sports Stadium, 6pm

G2/G3: Toyota Hothouse, TBA

Meetings this season

R8: Warrnambool defeated Mildura 68-61

R14: Mildura defeated Warrnambool 107-79

From the coaches

James Madigan (Mildura)

“This should be a great series between two good teams, I believe any of the remaining four teams have the talent to win the title. Warrnambool have been great all season they have a huge amount of talent and extremely well coached. We have split the series during the regular season but on both occasions both teams had not had their full roster available. Some of the best players in the league will be going against each other so it will be very entertaining basketball. This series is anyone’s and will come down to who is the best on the night. Best of luck to all the teams involved.”

Louise Brown (Warrnambool)

Quotes not available before publication.

Overview

Point to point this will be the toughest challenge geographically as well as on-the-court for both sides. There are so many questions to answer… who does Warrnambool send to Vanessa Power and Alexis Gassion? How does Mildura stop Amy Wormald and Katie O’Keefe? Who acclimates to the travel better? This will go the distance but the second weekend will wreak havoc with the Mermaids. Back-to-back games plus the travel on top will make this one too tough for Warrnambool.

Prediction

Mildura 2-1


Division Two Men

 Craigieburn (1st) vs. Mildura (6th)

G1: Toyota Hothouse, Saturday 7pm

G2/G3: Craigieburn Sports Stadium, TBA

Meetings this season

R10: Craigieburn defeated Mildura 88-79

R17: Craigieburn defeated Mildura 73-69

From the coaches

Simon Wilson (Craigieburn)

Congratulations to all teams, we are looking forward to the challenge ahead. Mildura are a talented and well coached unit and we will have to play our best basketball to get it done.”

David Curran (Mildura)

 “Going to be a hard three-game series, but it’s good to have the first one at home. We have a fantastic home crowd and we’re looking forward to Saturday night game 1 .”

Overview

Mildura has been phenomenal to watch in recent weeks – with the triumph over Camberwelll capping off a superb run. Calvin Henry and Dallas Brown have shone for the Heat and will give it their all to the final siren.

But you don’t get to be the top seed without reason. The Eagles have flown on the back of Damon Smith, Liam Watt and Blake Dickinson as part of a very even spread.  Taking down Craigieburn will require a lot, especially with the travel and a potential double-header to deal with.

Prediction

Craigieburn 2-0

 

Coburg (2nd) vs. Melton (5th)

G1: Melton Indoor Rec Centre, 7pm

G2/G3: Coburg Basketball Stadium, TBA

Meetings this season

R1: Coburg defeated Melton 92-69

R7: Melton defeated Coburg 74-72

From the coaches

Dylan Theis (Coburg)

“We are very excited to get back on the court after a weekend off, and look forward to playing Melton.” 

Joe Hooks (Melton)

Quotes not available before publication.

Overview

There’s nothing more entertaining than an underdog story. Melton has split its games against Coburg but is on a monster run leading into this game. Dexter Graham, Emmanuel Malou and Wol Wol Ngong continue to impress. Coburg has plenty in the tank and will rise to the challenge through Patrick Green, Jeremiah Juric and Mweemba Maluma. It certainly won’t be easy to take this series but the Thoroughbreds have the tricks and talent to take this one in the third.

Prediction

Melton 2-1


Division Two Women

Craigieburn (1st) vs. Wallan (2nd)

Saturday 7pm Craigieburn Sports Stadium

Meetings this season

R7: Craigieburn defeated by Wallan Uni 44-82

R18: Wallan defeated Craigieburn 34-59

From the coaches

Ben Carroll (Craigieburn)

“Really looking forward to the contest, both teams know each other really well. We will be looking forward to righting some wrongs from our last 2 encounters with Wallan and starting our playoff campaign with a win. There’s respect from both teams and mouth-watering matchups all over the court. Hopefully it’s a cracking spectacle for all those at “the nest”

Warren Taylor (Wallan)

We are really looking forward to getting down to Craigieburn on Saturday night for a crack at a grand final spot.  We have a good record against the Eagles this season, but we know finals are a different ball game and we will be ready.  We finally look to have a full team available and we are coming off the back of maybe our best win of the year so hopefully that momentum serves us well.  I’m expecting Craigieburn to have learnt a lot from our last two meetings and have things in place to get over us so we know we are going to have to be right on our game for the whole 40 minutes.  Either way we are sure it will be a great game between two good teams.”

Overview

The stakes are high for this encounter with the winner the first to advance to the Big Dance. The Panthers have had a significant advantage over the Eagles in the season proper, so won’t have many qualms about swooping a result from The Nest.  Wallan have unfinished business in the Division from last season and will be wanting to press home their authority with consistent performances from their key players. The gap narrowed significantly in the last round of the season from the first encounter back in Round 8.  With a week’s rest and the roster almost back to full strength, can Craigieburn get back to the true form that got them to the top rung?

Prediction

Wallan by 6

 

Melbourne Uni (3rd) vs. Blackburn (4th)

Saturday 7pm Melbourne University Sports Stadium

Meetings this season

R10: Melbourne Uni defeated Blackburn 66-61
R13: Blackburn defeated by Melbourne Uni 43-40

From the coaches

Grantley Bernard (Melbourne Uni)

“While the loss to Wallan was disappointing, there was no question about our effort, endeavour and application, which showed with a good defensive performance. So, we need a repeat of that and better finishing from everywhere on the offensive end of the floor. We know we have a job ahead of us given we have had to close games against Blackburn, winning both, but one in overtime and the other by three. We know we have to be at our best.”

Peter Buckle (Blackburn) 

Not available at time of publishing”

Overview

These two teams have produced some ripping basketball results during the season, particularly against each other.  As pointed out, one of the previous battles needed extra time to decide a winner.  Both teams have been very well drilled and we can expect a very tight tussle between them. Once the Black Angels start to pull the trigger, in front of a passionate home crowd, they can really be hard to stop.  For the Vikings, their inside offensive board pressure has seen them cash in on the scoreboard. They’ll be looking to continue their winning streak, being in as good a form as any in the Top 4 not to think they couldn’t take away another important road win.

Prediction

Melbourne Uni by 5


Molten Victorian Youth Championship Men

Eltham Wildcats (T-2nd) vs. Nunawading Spectres (T-3rd)

G1: Nunawading Basketball Stadium Sat 5:30pm

G2/3: Eltham High School TBA

Meetings this season

R09: Nunawading Spectres 67 def. by Eltham Wildcats 74

From the coaches

Greg Jeffers (Eltham)

“It’s our first time in the Youth Men’s Grand Final for a long time; over 10 years, so I am extremely proud that the group has overcome some hurdles that have existed for the club over the years. Some of our guys have been with us through the rebuild of our senior program and this opportunity at times seemed like a distant goal, but they’ve got their chance through their hard work. It’s great to face another club in the Championship series that is similar to us in several ways. Both groups are well balanced and experienced across the positions, have a wide range of scoring options, have the ability to defend well, but also have a passionate and engaged club supporting them, which will see people turn out to watch and create a great atmosphere for the players.

I have a lot of confidence in our guys and the way they’ve adapted at various stages over the year and that’s what you need to be able to do within a series. We’re looking forward to the opportunity to try and win the Championship on our home floor.”

Andrew Cutler (Nunawading)

Our pursuit of continual improvement, individually and collectively, has been critical to qualifying for the grand final for a second consecutive season. Despite some roster changes we have built a deep group of players, each committed to getting better all the time. Along with the group’s cohesion and attention to detail (and undoubtedly some good fortune), this has been a vital factor in reaching this point.”

Overview

The grand final series is upon us with two of the best defensive squads in the VYCM. Nunawading held opponents to a league best 68.9 points per contest, while Eltham held opponents to 71.6 points per game best for third in the competition. This series has the makings of a tenacious battle between two relentless squads. The Wildcats secured the earlier season victory between the two Terrill teams forcing the Spectres into 37% shooting from the field. Eltham relying on their incredible depth, which has been brilliant to watch all season long. However, Nunawading are now a different beast, playing some incredible team basketball along the way and if the Spectres are able to impose their tenacious defensive they should come away with the series. Can they trump last season’s heartbreak?

Prediction

Nunawading to win the series 2-1.


Molten Victorian Youth Championship Women

Sandringham Sabres (T-1st) vs. Knox Raiders (T-2nd)

G1: State Basketball Centre Sat 7pm

G2/3: Nunn Media Basketball Centre TBA

Meetings this season

R04: Sandringham Sabres 76 def. Knox Raiders 53

R10: Knox Raiders 61 def. by Sandringham Sabres 73

From the coaches

Joanne Wood (Sandringham)

No doubt one of the key factors for us this season has been our depth. Despite a number of players missing due to SEABL and other commitments the girls that have been available have just stepped up and been enormous for us which allowed us to finish top and take home court advantage in all finals. Knox are a tremendously talented team who are very hard to match up on and we will need to bring our best defensive game in all 3 matches to give ourselves every possible chance to win the championship. It should be a great series with two great teams who move the ball well and play for each other.” 

Chad Burton (Knox)

After a fantastic finish to our regular season in such a strong competition and with two great wins in a do or die finals games against Kilsyth and Nunawading the team has truly earnt their spot in this Grand Final series. We face a very strong Sandringham team who have a lot of great players and who have been playing together for a few years now; we are a very young team who have improved immensely over the year individually and as a team. In both our meetings this year both teams were affected by player availability, with both teams at full strength it looks to be a great series, one in which the team and myself look forward to greatly.”

Overview

Sandringham have the been the dominant team in the VYCW losing just three games during their top of the table reign of the regular season. The Sabres relied on their stifling defence holding opponents to a paltry 55.8 points per game. But on the other end the Knox Raiders are one of the highest scoring teams averaging 75.2 points per game. The grand final series will be a battle to see which team breaks first. The key to the series could be through the Raiders’ Eliana Bravington. If the Sabres have no answer for Bravington then she has the skill and talent to single-handily take over the series. But if the Sabres suffocating defence can stop her, they could be too strong.

Prediction

Sandringham Sabres win series 2-1.


Youth League One Men

Sunbury Jets (1st) vs. Waverley Falcons (2nd)

G1: Waverley Basketball Centre Sat 7:30pm

G2/3: Boardman Stadium TBA

Meetings this season

R05: Sunbury Jets 71 def. Waverley Falcons 69

R13: Waverley Falcons 77 def. Sunbury Jets 55

From the coaches

Lisa Townsend (Sunbury)

Coaches comment unavailable at time of publish.”

Elias Palioyiannis (Waverley)

We are very excited to be part of the Grand Final series for 2018. We have prided ourselves on our depth all year and it was a big part in why we were able to get past a very good Werribee team last week. Sunbury have been the benchmark team all year and deserve to go into the Grand Final Series as favourites. They are very well coached and have a heap of scoring options on the floor.  No doubt Game One is a must win game for us at home as Sunbury haven’t lost at home this season. We can’t wait to get it all started on Saturday night.”

Overview

It’s the match-up we have been salivating to see. The Sunbury Jets have been on a different plane in season 2018, dropping only two games. One in the final round of the season put down to a late season malaise but the other loss was a 22-point walloping at the hands of the Waverley Falcons. The Falcons have been the highest scoring squad in YL1M averaging an absurd 86.4 points per game. With stars like Cody Fredrickson and Dylan Larkin leading the way, the Falcons have the potential to make the Jets work in the series. But Sunbury have been the standout team all season long and despite the season hiccup should be too strong for the Falcons. Watch for Kyle Collins, Nathan Baker and Nathan Marshall to put their stamp on the series.

Prediction

Sunbury Jets win series 2-1


Youth League One Women

Keilor (1st) vs. McKinnon (4th)

G1: GESAC Sat 6pm

G2/3: Keilor Basketball Stadium TBA

Meetings this season

R2: McKinnon 50 def by Keilor 70
R6: Keilor 65 def McKinnon 64
R13: McKinnon 63 def by Keilor 70

From the coaches

Ryan Morris (Keilor)

This weekend will be an exciting time for a young group of players wanting to make an impact in post season play.

Nathan has done a great job in getting McKinnon to the finals and we look forward to the challenge ahead.

Nothing is given, and we know we will have to be ready to play to get the win in game 1.

Nathan Geer (McKinnon)

 “Coaches comment unavailable at time of publish.”

Overview

There looks to be an overriding advantage on paper between these two sides, however you could have said the same thing in R18 when McKinnon hosted Sunbury and look what happened. Never say never, but game one’s the most important game of the year for these Cougars. Take one at home and it’s game on. Don’t see the Thunder giving in though.

Prediction

Keilor 2-0

 

Sunbury (2nd) vs. Geelong (3rd)

G1: AWA Alliance Bank Stadium

G2/3: Boardman Stadium TBA

Meetings this season

R3: Geelong 46 def by Sunbury 59

R11: Sunbury 68 def Geelong 45

From the coaches

Andrew Seidel (Sunbury)

Hi everyone, well what are we expecting this weekend is a very competitive game from both Geelong and ourselves, after a solid season we are very keen to get into the Playoffs and perform well so best of luck to both teams.”

Tim Sanderson (Geelong)

Looking forward to seeing how our girls meet the challenge of playoff basketball and the extra intensity it brings. The playoff series will provide us with an opportunity to continue to grow our character as people and our ability to execute basketball skills in pressure scenarios. Sunbury are a quality team and have been consistently strong performers all year, so they will definitely present the challenge that’s required for our girls to grow both individually and as a group.”

Overview

Geelong have been up and down lately which doesn’t bode well for their finals chances. However, the Jets couldn’t find the line either suffering defeat in the final round. Like the Cougars, the ‘Cats will need to be super impressive at home to look alive in this series. Sunbury has finals experience off the back of last year and look in control.

Prediction

Sunbury 2-0


Youth League Two Men

Frankston (1st) vs. Craigieburn (4th)

Saturday 6:30pm Frankston Basketball Stadium

Meetings this season

R2: Craigieburn 108 def Frankston 77
R14: Frankston 97 def Craigieburn 92

From the coaches

Glenn Eames (Frankston)

Firstly, congratulations to all the teams who have made the playoffs.

The one thing that I have learnt about season 2018 so far is that you have to be 100% on your game to win.

It’s that tight.  If your 5% off, you lose.

Our game against the Eagles this weekend will be no different. They are a quality team and well organised.

Should be a cracker.”

Tom Carroll (Craigieburn)

 “Coaches comment unavailable at time of publish.”

Overview

Frankston re-enter the competition and play their first final after landing the no.1 seed. Off the back of some excellent play from the likes of Tristan Lloyd and Ryan Wells, the Blues are primed and ready to potentially lock themselves into a grand final berth. However, the Eagles will go in with loads of confidence off the back of a victory last weekend, as well as knocking off the Blues convincingly way back in Round 2. Lots has gone under the bridge since then, but one thing is for sure and that is we know Craigieburn can score in bunches. If they get their offence firing, this is game on!

Prediction

Frankston by 5

 

Collingwood (2nd) vs. Pakenham (3rd)

Saturday 7:30pm Darebin Stadium

Meetings this season

R10: Collingwood 98 def Pakenham 72
R17: Pakenham 80 def Collingwood 79

From the coaches

Manny Hendrix (Collingwood)

We’re ready, should be a fun game.”

Simo Pajdic (Pakenham)

Coaches comment unavailable at time of publish.”

Overview

It’s the semi-final that’s certainly every chance to live up to the hype. Two teams that will know each other very well, most recently when Pakenham secured a one-point victory at home in Round 17. However, this is a different game, at a different venue, with some different tactics. Both coaches will have reviewed that contest for hours and hours to see how they can gain a competitive advantage. Both teams have scorers, as well as lock down defenders. This has blockbuster written all over it.

Prediction

Collingwood by 3 (OT)


Youth League Two Women

Casey (1st) vs. Frankston (3rd)

Saturday 8pm Casey Stadium

Meetings this season

R12: Casey Cavaliers 70 def. Frankston Blues 59

R18: Frankston Blues 73 def. by Frankston Blues 88

From the coaches

Brad Rooff (Casey)

The team is excited to be playing finals basketball for the second time in the two years we have been in Big V Youth League women. This being our first game and being such a pivotal game for us (Casey), we would love to progress straight into a grand final. 

Frankston have been playing some exceptionally good basketball at the right time of the year. They have really been able to make the adjustments required and have gotten better as the season progressed. 

Both teams will be extremely competitive as we come off the bye, and Frankston come off a hard-fought victory against Pakenham.

We are excited to play this game at home at the “Fortress” in front of a big crowd.

Should be a cracker!”

Byron Carpenter (Frankston)

Coaches comment unavailable at time of publish.”

Overview

Casey has been the dominant team in YL2W all season long averaging an outstanding 86.1 points per game. But the Cavaliers high-powered offense will be tested by the Blues defensive prowess. Frankston are the second-best defensive outfit in the league and will need to play the best ball of the season to knock off this Casey juggernaut.

Prediction

Casey Cavaliers by 20 points

 

Pakenham (2nd) vs. Whittlesea (4th)

Saturday 6pm Cardinia Life

Meetings this season

R6: Whittlesea Pacers 63 def. by Pakenham Warriors 76

R11: Pakenham Warriors 83 def. Whittlesea Pacers 51

From the coaches

Jill Appleton (Pakenham)

Off the back of a loss last week, we’ve regrouped and focused on the little things. We lost a battle with ourselves in the qualifying final, and the players are very keen to rectify this against Whittlesea this weekend. Our form against the Pacers this season has been solid, but they’ll have their backs up after a huge win against Blackburn last week. If we can limit our turnovers and get back to our high intensity defensive game, we should live to fight another day.” 

Shannon Bodley (Whittlesea)

We are a fairly green group when it comes to finals, so it was great to get a win on the weekend in our first final. Now that we have played a final, I would hope the nerves would be a little more at ease.  It will be a tough challenge against Pakenham this week, but we have a real belief as a group and we are looking forward to this week’s game.”

Overview

After winning both regular season match-ups the Warriors will head into the second elimination final as favourites. But the Pacers are a different team. After finishing the regular season on a 3-game winning streak, Whittlesea have ramped up its defensive pressure leading to convincing victories. While the Warriors have stumbled in the final few weeks of the season. Should make for an intriguing contest.

Prediction

Whittlesea Pacers by 1 point

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