Round 10 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

Blackburn hosts Knox to open the round with the Raiders coming in hot after a strong double last weekend. The Vikings sit second-last only to Corio Bay and have endured a tough start to life in SCM, but avoiding relegation straight back down to Division 1 will be their goal for the remainder of the season before building in 2019. A win for the Raiders is a must if they want to go deep into the post-season.

Hume City tackles Casey in a match that is hard to get a grasp on. The Cavs are much better at home than on the road, making them beatable by the Broncos in this one. That said, Hume hasn’t exactly set the competition on fire this season and will need to provide one of their better efforts to keep their dwindling season alive.

Eltham welcomes McKinnon in a clash between two serious finals contenders heading in different directions. The Wildcats split last weekend but remain on the up, while two losses for the Cougars continued their mediocre form after starting the season in red-hot fashion. The ‘Cats have been tougher on the road than at home this year, but they will still start favourites to notch an important win here.

Keilor travels to Ringwood in the toughest road trip in the competition. The Thunder are fresh off a win last week and will certainly be buoyed by that result, but that looks to come to a grinding halt when they walk into the fire at The Rings against a side that remains the team to beat for this year’s championship. Four players hit 20 points or more for the Hawks in last week’s win, which is an ominous warning to the rest of the league.

Waverley and Hawthorn will do battle in a clash of two potential grand finalists. If you had’ve heard that about the Magic in the pre-season it may have been laughed off, but that’s exactly where they are headed with a 7-2 record and riding a six-game win streak. Of course, the Falcons had their winning streak snapped last Sunday and will be looking to build on their own 8-3 record. Home side will start favourites but can the Magic continue their giant-killing run?

Casey heads back home to welcome Werribee. The Cavs have been solid on their home floor this season and will be looking to potentially end the round above .500 with a win over the Devs. The visitors themselves have been much better on the road than at home, which makes for an interesting matchup.

Corio Bay will seek their second win of the campaign when they tackle Hume City. The Stingrays have been far from disgraceful in 2018 but have simply been unable to get over the line. An opportunity presents to do that here against a Broncos side that has been inconsistent all season.

Hawthorn’s tough weekend rounds out with a clash with Ringwood. The Magic will be eyeing off at least one big scalp this weekend to further solidy their prospects, and playing at home will certainly help them here. A win over the Hawks would be absolutely massive, but whether that actually eventuates is a ‘wait and see’ proposition.

Blackburn vs Knox                               Sat 7:30pm                              Knox Basketball Stadium

Hume City vs Casey                             Sat 8pm                                   Broadmeadows Basketball Stadium

Eltham vs McKinnon                           Sat 8pm                                   Eltham High School

Ringwood vs Keilor                             Sat 8pm                                   The Rings

Waverley vs Hawthorn                       Sat 8:30pm                              Waverley Basketball Centre

Casey vs Werribee                              Sun 1:30pm                             Casey Stadium

Corio Bay vs Hume City                       Sun 2pm                                  Geelong Basetkball Netball Centre

Hawthorn vs Ringwood                      Sun 3pm                                  Boroondara Sports Complex

State Championship Women

Thunder (3-­‐6) vs Hawks (8-­‐2)

Keilor slipped up last week and have actually lost four of their last five games, leaving them adrift of the top half and unlikely to play finals if they can’t beat some teams above them, like Ringwood. The Hawks have won four straight and continue to look a genuine contender with enough depth on show around their two imports, Desi Ramos and Cass Mihalko. Keilor would relish a big scalp so you can expect them to come out and play hard, but for genuine talent you can’t go past the Hawks in this contest.

Raiders (9-­‐1) vs Jets (5-­‐4)

The Jets have been a hot topic of conversation so far this season, the reigning champs struggling to find their best form, but they have won three of their last four games and you sense the engine oom is starting to fire up. The visitors will need every bit of that rising form against the powerful Raiders, who themselves will be aiming for an eighth successive win. The league leaders are loaded with class and continue to produce a ruthless level of basketball, at both ends. Orla O’Reilly will need a big game if the Jets are to win, while some big stats from Elyse Penaluna would be handy. Raiders to start favourites in the best game of the round.

Broncos (4-­‐4) vs Sharks (5-­‐3)

Such an important game between the fifth-­‐placed Broncos and the fourth-­‐placed Sharks., the stakes will be high on Sunday with both teams coming in having won one of their last three games each. The Broncos are always a tough proposition at home, but they’ll need to be at their best to beat the dynamic young Sharks. Look for a great match-­‐up between Jaz Shelley and Nicole Zammit, the winner of that battle likely to lead their team to a crucial win. Too close to call.

Falcons (8-­‐2) vs Wildcats (2-­‐7)

The weekend closes with Waverley trying to respond to a rare loss, while Eltham will be out to successfully follow up a rare win. Former WNBL teammates Alice Kunek (Eltham), Tegan Cunningham (Waverley) and Kelly Bowen (Waverley) will face-­‐off, the former looking to deliver another big game, while the latter will be out to find some form after a quiet game last week. Tenaya Phillips is hitting her stride for the Falcons and could be a very important factor here. Hard to see the Wildcats getting an upset win, but stranger things have happened.

Round 10
Keilor vs Ringwood Sat 7:30pm Keilor Basketball Stadium
Knox vs Sunbury Sat 8pm State Basketball Stadium
Hume City vs Sth Peninsula Sun 1pm Broadmeadows Basketball Stadium
Waverley vs Eltham Sun 2:30pm Waverley Basketball Centre

Division One Men

Steelers (8-­‐3) vs Black Angels (5-­‐6):

A big weekend for Melb Uni as they try to stay in touch with the top half. The tough task starts here with a trip to face the Steelers and Dylan Travis. If the star import gets off the leash it’s very hard to see the visitors scoring a much-­‐needed win.

Jets (3-­‐10) vs All Stars (5-­‐7):

Collingwood snapped a losing streak last week and could keep the winning feeling alive against the lowly Jets. Jon Lindhe looked great last week for the All Stars and gives them an extra dimension if he gets going alongside Manny Hendrix. All Stars to win.

Energy (1-­‐11) vs Gators (11-­‐1):

In what looks like a mismatch, this top versus bottom clash looks headed for a Shepparton win. Vines and Coleman have become the best duo in the competition and should feast on the lowly Energy. An upset is always on the cards in this division, but not this time around.

Gulls (10-­‐3) vs Cougars (10-­‐2):

Probably the best game of the weekend, Chelsea will be keen to make a big statement against the Cougars. Lots of great match-­‐ups amongst some of the best players in D1M. Standerfer, Brasser, Enge, Newby. This will be fun.

Pacers (3-­‐9) vs Seahawks (6-­‐5):

The start of a roadtrip for Warrnambool with a clash against the inconsistent Pacers looming as a danger game. The visitors have to keep winning to stay amongst the frontrunners and as Chelsea found out last week, a tough contest can always be expected out at Mill Park. Seahawks should win.

Black Angels (5-­‐6) vs Seahawks (6-­‐5):

Both teams back up in what promises to be an energetic game. Masunda and Armstrong are starting to warm as a quality combination, but they will need to be red-­‐hot here if they hope to take down Blount, Sobey and Gynes.

Supercats (4-­‐7) vs Venom (5-­‐6):

Two desperate teams trying to keep their finals hopes alive, Geelong having lost their last two, Warrandyte coming in off four successive losses. It’s not panic stations just yet, but a loss here will certainly put one of these teams on the back foot.

All Stars (5-­‐7) vs Boomers (6-­‐7):

Collingwood returns home to take on Bulleen. Recent form suggests we don’t know what to expect as both units have been inconsistent. Thadd Varmall and Manny Hendrix will be vital to each team and whoever gets on top might prove to be the difference in a tough game.

Cougars (10-­‐2) vs Steelers (8-­‐3):

A huge weekend for Keysborough with big games against Chelsea and Western Port. With all three teams sitting in the top four, chances are we are going to learn a fair bit by late Sunday afternoon. The Cougars look a powerful unit this season and if they manage to come away from the weekend with two wins then we are looking at a serious contender.

Western Port vs Melbourne Uni Sat 7:30pm David Collings Indoor Leisure Centre
Sunbury vs Collingwood Sat 8pm Boardman Stadium
Latrobe City vs Shepparton Sat 8pm Latrobe Leisure Traralgon
Chelsea vs Keysborough Sat 8pm Patterson River Stadium
Whittlesea vs Warrnambool Sat 8:30pm Mill Park Basketball Stadium
Melbourne Uni vs Warrnambool Sun 12:30pm Melbourne Uni Sports Centre
Geelong vs Warrandyte Sun 2pm AWA Alliance Bank Stadium
Collingwood vs Bulleen Sun 3pm Collingwood College
Keysborough vs Western Port Sun 3pm Rowville Secondary College

Division One Women

The Mildura Heat will take a well deserved break this weekend but they will be keeping a keen eye out for the results, especially when it comes to the Cavs. The Heat are in that number one spot but both themselves and the Cavs sit on the same record. If the Cavs get up this weekend, they will take over.

While on the topic of the Cavs, let’s see what round 10 is serving up for them. This Sunday will see them take on the Dragons, a side that similar to the Cavs, is on a strong winning streak. While the Cavs are the obvious favourites due to their record and 2nd placing, these two are yet to meet this season. This always makes for an interesting game as it’s a matter of the unknown.

It could be a big weekend for the Mermaids, coming to town for two games this weekend. First cab off the rank for them is the Pacers. After spending some time racking up win after win, the Pacers were soon to meet their matches. They now have four straight losses to their name and while they will be coming up against a side like the Mermaids, a side that sits three spots ahead of them, they could be looking down the barrell of five straight losses.

Game number two for the Mermaids will see them meet with the Magic, a team struggling to find that consistency. This will be the second time these two have met this season and back in round 5, the Mermaids were the victors by just 4 points. The Magic have proven to be competitive against those above them only going down by 1 point to the 4th placed Dragons. With this, plus only just going down to the Mermaids previously, the Magic have a chance to get one back.

Another side contending with two games this weekend is the Venom. They will meet with the Supercats away on the Saturday night, followed by a home game against the Steelers on the Sunday. This side has had a tough season so far but have shown promise on a number of occasions. They have proven to get the job done against sides within their reach, but not so much against the higher placed sides. Luckily for the Venom, this weekend with the Supercats and Steelers, they are both within reach. The Venom and the Supercats are meeting for the first time so it is really hard to gather how this match will turn out. But with both teams desparate for a win and both having had similar beginnings to this season, we can only guess that it will be a close one.

As for the Venom’s match up with the Steelers, well they’ve been here before. Back in round 5 was when these two first met and the Venom were comfortable winners by 17. With how the Steelers are going and have been going since the very start of the season, history will be repeating itself on Sunday.

The Magic are being forced to prove themselves this weekend, also having to contend with the Gulls on the Saturday night. This Gulls side have had some surprise losses of late and with a number of teams breathing down their neck vying for their spot, they need to make sure they get wins like this. Any further slip ups will see them slip further and quickly down the ladder.

One team that has been surprising us all of late is the Devils. With 4 out of their last 5 games resulting in wins, we are expecting this side to climb and improve on their current 7th placing. They have a good chance at doing so this weekend, taking on the struggling Energy. With Alyssa Bennett in your corner, their isn’t much that can go wrong. She has been setting the court on fire lately and we can see her continuing this on into round 10.

Chelsea vs. Hawthorn                                                 Sat 6pm                                   Patterson River Stadium

Whittlesea vs. Warrnambool                                      Sat 6.30pm                              Mill Park Basketball Stadium

Geelong vs. Warrandyte                                             Sat 7pm                                   AWA Alliance Bank Stadium

Werribee vs. Latrobe                                                  Sat 7pm                                   Eagle Stadium

Camberwell vs. Casey                                                 Sun 1pm                                  Balwyn High School

Hawthorn vs. Warrnambool                                       Sun 1pm                                  Boroondara Sports Complex

Warrandyte vs. Western Port                                     Sun 1pm                                  Warrandyte Sports Complex

Division Two Men

Even though we are over half way through the season this will be the first time these two teams meet, the Giants have been a force to reckon with throughout the season so far but their consistency has been their biggest down fall. Pakenham have also had a mixed start to the season currently sitting on a 5-5 record which they would be itching to improve on especially against the current number 2 side. This is going to be a tough match up both teams have depth and both teams like to run the ball, consistency will play a huge part in this match up, this will be a close one!

The Eagles have been on another level of late, racking up the wins left and right, home or away it doesn’t seem to matter to them, but this match up will be their biggest on the road challenge, as everyone knows when you go to the Hothouse be prepared for anything because it sure does get hot in there. With both teams in fine form this is going to be one battle you wont want to miss, if you are in Mildura make sure you get down to the Hothouse to watch local crowd favourites Calvin Henry and Dallas Brown go head to head with Damon Smith and Liam Watt who have been carving it up for the Eagles getting them 8 consecutive wins, can Mildura ground the high flying Eagles or will they soar home to the nest victorious

After a horrible run of losses after losing their star will having him back in the line up improve their game? No doubt Wallan would have loved to have come up against the Warriors while Voss was sidelined, but instead they get them in his first game back it will be interesting to see how he goes getting back into the swing of things and also who Wallan match up on him with their own team missing key players over the past few weeks, it was good to see Hayden Annett back on the floor for Wallan but they were still missing Jaak Ponsford who went down early with an ankle injury against Camberwell. This will be a tough one for Wallan, but I think having Voss back will hype the Warriors up giving them the spark they have been missing.

If Melton can sort themselves out and get a win against a lower ranked team they will find themselves climbing that ladder quick smart but for some reason they can find a way to take down a top 4 team no problem but can beat a team lower on the ladder than them, this weekend is going to be crucial for them as they have the chance to get 2 more wins on the board. Sherbrooke are a tough side who love to run the ball, their defence however is their biggest weakness if they can improve on that front and still put up big numbers like they have been they have a real shot at putting Melton back in their place, but if not the Thoroughbreds will run all over them.

Backing it up this week is Melton who have 2 tough middle of the ladder battles taking on Sherbrooke Saturday night and then Altona Sunday down in the swamp, the Thoroughbreds better have their game plan set in stone because the Gators need another win on the board and are willing to do what it takes to get it. If the Thoroughbreds can use their pace and run the ball not allowing the Gators to use their physicality they should get out of there alive.

After a weekend off the Warriors return home as they open their doors to the Bushies in a Sunday blockbuster, North East who are still winless after another gut wrenching loss last week need to go into this match confident and with all players set on playing their roles and putting it all on the line, because this is the week they are going to get to taste victory. A rest isn’t always a good thing for some teams, it looses the rhthym the team has set and can cause crucial errors, but it can also be a blessing, only time will tell though.

After dropping a should have won game last week the Dragons need to get back on the wagon because they now have a huge task ahead of them as they take on a fully loaded Warriors, who will be looking to redeem there past few weeks performances and reiterate to the entire division they are back and they want that title. What a match up it will be if Voss matches up on O’Hara, two of the biggest names in the competition going head to head battling it out, Camberwell win they stay top 3 Southern Pen win they jump into the top 3 it’s a must win for both sides.

Division Two Women

Doeth 3 games maketh a round?  Welcome to the second half of the season as we enter Round 10.

Melton are back at home to host Sherbrooke as part of a triple header – with the Suns association making up two of the opponents so there will be plenty of Sherbrooke support on hand. So on that front, expect the young talented skills of the Suns to put on very determined display across four quarters against the fellow newcomers to the Division in their first season match up.  For the Thoroughbreds it is all about getting their mojo and game style back to arrest a 2 game slump as they begin a 3 game run at Home.  On paper form, Melton would expect to win but with a solid visitor base coming to the game they wouldn’t want a tardy start.

Mornington play host to Wallan in one of the division’s longer road trips.  When the teams last met the Panthers won the encounter comfortably, but the Breakers have been competitive in all their matches so far.  Hopefully being at Home for the return match the Breakers will be able to bring in some depth off the bench.  Wallan won’t want to falter though in their quest for a Top 2 season finish.

Melbourne Uni have a double header on Sunday, which means a very early start for the Vikings who travel to Tin Alley.  The Vikings have been going about their business and have taken some credentialled scalps along the way and were very unlikely not be on a 3 game winning streak after a close one against the Eagles last week.  Depending on how the Mornington game plays out, the Black Angels might be rewarded with second spot if they can secure a win, but Blackburn showed last week they can mix it with the best and won’t die wondering here. Expect a close match followed by Sunday lunch.


Melton vs. Sherbrooke                                                Sat 6pm           Melton Indoor Recreation Centre

Mornington vs. Wallan                                               Sat 7pm           Mornington Basketball Stadium

Melbourne Uni vs. Blackburn                                     Sat 10.30am    Melbourne University Sports Centre

Molten Victorian Youth Championship Men

The Eltham Wildcats come into round 10 with the best record in Molten VYCM, at 10-2. Their last loss was on the road at Bulleen, and since then they’ve won their next four by an average of 12 points. McKinnon make the trip to Eltham High in our first game of the round, where they’ll have to defend the three point line better than they did against Hawthorn last week. If they don’t, the Wildcats could run away with this one. At the other end of the Terrill conference are the Sherbrooke Suns, however at 5-8 they would come in above 6th in the Watson conference. Having already played eight games on the road (2-6), the Suns got a great win at home last week, and will be looking to use that advantage again as they host Bulleen. After a poor game two back, the Boomers bounced back and will be looking to string together another group of wins.

Dandenong is one of the two teams that have been able to hand a defeat to Eltham so far this season, and will be looking to do the same as they host the Wildcats early Sunday. As we’ve seen in the past, Dandenong’s lineups can change significantly week to week. At their best, they are one of, if not the toughest team to defeat.

After some great early season form, Knox find themselves having lost three of their past four and needing to string a couple of W’s together. They’ve had some great performances off the bench as of late, and if the starters can play to potential they’re always a tough team to get over. Sherbrooke face them on a tough back to back, but if they can bring last weeks form they’re in this.

Our Big V TV game of the round brings together Diamond Valley and Altona. Two teams desperate for a win, having now lost a combined 17 games in a row. If Jack Roberts suits up for the Eagles’ YL team (something he’s done twice) then they probably come into the game as favourites. If Roberts doesn’t play, Altona has shown to have a couple of weapons in Elyazar and Edwards they can rely on, and should feel good about their chances.

Nunawading vs Kilsyth is another huge game in round 10. Kilsyth are yet to click into gear, and there must be some concerned people out at the Cobras, while the Spectres have been flying over the past month. The graveyard is one of the toughest places to play, and a victory for either team could be a huge momentum shifter.

With the return of Jake Heath and Josh Bannan stringing some games games together Blackburn look like a formidable opponent moving forward. Sandringham have got themselves in a groove as of late, winning four on the trot. This should be a great indication of how tough these teams will be to play in the second half of the season.

Bulleen have another winnable game in round 10, and would be hoping to sit 9-3 following both games. Ringwood have been tough to get a handle on all season, but one thing that is clear is that they’re weaker on the road. To finish off the round, we have another great matchup. Hawthorn deservedly sit atop the Watson conference, and at first glance would be considered warm favourite against Keilor. However, Keilor are currently 6-1 at home, and one of the toughest teams in the competition whenever BJ Symons suits up. Don’t be surprised to see this one go the distance.

Molten Victorian Youth Championship Women

The season seems to be moving faster than the speed of light in 2018, and there’s a stack of fixtures throughout round ten to keep your basketball fix intact! 5:30pm on Saturday evening kicks off proceedings when Hawthorn look to get a wriggle on and potentially keep their season alive. The leading pack in Terrill have got away from the Magic and it looks as though every game from here on in is a must win! If Claudia Armato can start to find some form, the Magicians may just pull a rabbit out of their hat! They’ll need a second wand when they travel to Sandringham to face the defending champs. Morgan Riley and Cass Hill have been in great form and will continue to lead the Sabres to the post-season.

Sandringham travel to Knox the night prior where Eliana Bravington has been in MVP form over the past month, however like the Magic are outside the top four looking in, hoping for someone to slip up – could this be one of those games? The Raiders travel to Bendigo on Sunday and must be prepared to not get swept away early. The midday fixture has

Ringwood face Nunawading (home) and Bulleen (away) on their double; the Hawks keen to make amends from that defeat last week to the Eagles. Rachael Watson continues to fire, while Danielle Calvisi is starting to find her own as a valuable attribute to the team. The Spectres, who now sit equal top of the Terrill Conference will hope to be outright leaders once R10 concludes; wins over the Hawks and Kilsyth will achieve that feat. The Snakes may prove tough cookies, who boast a solid road record (4-2) with a number of players who have the ability to step up when required.

Warrandyte are in need of another victory, while Bendigo are looking to avenge that rare loss from last week. The Braves travel to the Venom with a handy 5-3 road record and will be bolstered if both Hayley Harrington and Danielle O’Toole fire this weekend. The Venom finish off the weekend with a trip to Ballarat to complete the country double. The Rush seem to be the easier of the two opponents, however will pose a massive threat if the visitors cannot find their offensive rhythm. It’s been the problem of the season for Warrandyte (last in the competition for PPG). The Rush actually host twice this weekend, with Waverley travelling north on Saturday night as well. Both teams are locked at 3-8 and the loser of this one can virtually kiss their finals hopes goodbye as it would seem they’re just too far back to recover. With so much on the line, who will step up? Will it be an individual, a certain play, or a whole team’s four quarter performance?

The Falcons, who could be up and about depending on their result Saturday night, arrive back at home with the Melbourne Tigers waiting in the wings. The Tigers are a super tough team to get a read on as they are super impressive on their day, yet super disappointing if they fail to turn up. 5-2 at home and 1-5 on the road could also show that, and three losses on the bounce don’t help proceedings. That being said, they’re still well in this one and the Falcons should not take their opponents lightly. Expect Nyadouth Lok to continue her stellar form.

Finally, Diamond Valley and Altona is arguably match of the round as 2nd and 3rd go toe-to-toe in the Terrill Conference. The Eagles may have just lost that spark which was evident early on in the season, having won just two of their last five, however they’re still a huge threat in the competition. Dana Lindemann has been a major player for the Gators late and you’d expect that to continue.

Hawthorn vs. Hume City                                 Sat 5:30pm                              Boroondara Sports Complex

Ringwood vs. Nunawading                             Sat 6pm                                   The Rings

Knox vs. Sandringham                                    Sat 6pm                                   State Basketball Centre

Warrandyte vs. Bendigo                                 Sat 6pm                                   Warrandyte Sports Complex

Ballarat vs. Waverley                                      Sat 7pm                                   MARS Minerdome

Diamond Valley vs. Altona                              Sun 12pm                                DV Sports & Fitness

Bendigo vs. Knox                                             Sun 12pm                                Bendigo Stadium

Ballarat vs. Warrandyte                                  Sun 12pm                                MARS Minerdome

Sandringham vs. Hawthorn                            Sun 12:30pm                           Nunn Media Basketball Centre

Nunawading vs. Kilsyth                                   Sun 12:30pm                           Nunawading Basketball Stadium

Waverley vs. Melbourne                                Sun 12:30pm                           Waverley Basketball Centre

Bulleen vs. Ringwood                                     Sun 1pm                                  East Doncaster Secondary College

Youth League One Men

The Youth League One Men’s season is quickly reaching its crescendo and that’s mostly come before our eyes! Teams on the bubble and even further away than that are going to have start making some moves AND FAST if they are to have aspirations of post season basketball. We’re looking at you Warrandyte/Casey/Ballarat, hey even Hume City after their last burst!

Speaking of, the weekend starts with two of these teams when the Broncos host the Cavs. Crunch time game! With the Broncos having won two of their last three, there’s games such as this (and potentially every game from here on in) being must win contests for the home side. At 3-9, it seems as though the Broncs are about to round the home turn of the Flemington straight, yet are stuck behind a wall of other horses and need to find a run. That could start with Casey off the back of players such as Bailey Kirkman and Mitch Goodwin.

Sunbury and Geelong is a cracker! 12 straight against six straight and in the opinion of this writer is the Jets’ biggest test to date. Sunbury have been tested as of late and may just be showing a few signs of slowing down back to the pack. Geelong on the other hand are dead set flying. Josiah King and Max Kos are leading the way, and there’s a host of other guys ready to step up at any given time. If they all turn up here on the road, look out! Sunbury back it up against Ballarat on the road, which is always a difficult task no matter the travelling team. The Miners are 3-2 at home and can look a completely different side at times. Amos Brooks has been a star up there in 2018, just needs a helping hand at times. Geelong are also on the back-up when they host Waverley in what’s set to be an extremely important weekend for the Supercats. The top two sides in two days, what’s the strategy and focus going into the weekend?

Waverley host Camberwell on the Saturday night prior, where the Falcons are locked and loaded at this point in time. Six straight W’s and no sign of slowing down, Elias Palioyiannis has this team going places led by Nathan Malloy, Cody Fredrickson and Bol Jok. The Dragons have an assignment that looks just as tough on Sunday, where the early morning risers will be at Balwyn High School to check out the Devils. After the mid-season slump, the Devs are now back firing with three straight victories as Daniaell Herbert has found some running buddies in Jake Karcoushkas and Josh Zamperoni!

Warrandyte have a winnable weekend with Bendigo (Home) and Corio Bay (Away) on the cards. Without Justin Ronan-Black for a couple of weeks now the Venom haven’t looked as potent on offence, which has had an adverse effect on the defensive end as well. Cody Perry-Allamby and Jack Cousens have stepped up during this period, but it all starts on the defensive end for the Venom this weekend, where they’ll need to limit their points in the paint!

Bendigo and Coburg round out the weekend where both teams are desperate for wins as that relegation battle starts to heat up with just a few rounds left to play. These games are real momentum swingers. Look for guys such as Vito Carbone, Jack White, Daniel Butera and Jake Willcocks to stand up!

Hume City vs. Casey                                        Sat 6pm                                   Broadmeadows Basketball Stadium

Sunbury vs. Geelong                                       Sat 6pm                                   Boardman Stadium

Waverley vs. Camberwell                               Sat 6:30pm                              Waverley Basketball Centre

Warrandyte vs. Bendigo                                 Sat 8pm                                   Warrandyte Sports Complex

Camberwell vs. Werribee                               Sun 11am                                Balwyn High School

Corio Bay vs. Warrandyte                               Sun 12pm                                Geelong Basketball Netball Centre

Geelong vs. Waverley                                     Sun 12pm                                AWA Alliance Bank Stadium

Ballarat vs. Sunbury                                        Sun 2pm                                  MARS Minerdome

Bendigo vs. Coburg                                         Sun 2pm                                  Bendigo Stadium

Youth League One Women

After a not so pretty loss last round the Cougars need to regroup and rethink their game plan in preparation for the tough match up they have ahead of them down in the bay against the Supercats, the Cougars will need 110% from every player because Geelong will not show any mercy, they are stuck in a battle for top 2 and every point matters at this point in the season. The Supercats are having a great season so far only dropping 3 matches to date against the other 2 teams fighting it out at the top of the leader board. Both Keilor and Geelong are ready to pounce now that Sunbury have been brought back a peg after losing last week, and right now the only thing standing in Geelong’s way is the Cougars!

I’m sure the Dragons are still buzzing after their 7 point win over the previously undefeated but now beatable Jets, with confidence to burn the Dragons will come into this match with their heads high still reliving their last match, the Stingrays know they must strike early and they will look to do so through key players, they will put the pressure on offensively early making the Dragons chase them. This game will come down to who can get control of the tempo and who can be more consistent.

Another double for the Supercats as we head deeper into the second half of the season, they currently sit with a 6-4 record and sit 4th on the leader board, while the Stingrays are sitting 5th with a 2-6 season so far. This game has the opportunity to be a blow out but I really hope the Eagles can find their form, with every player giving it their all doing the jobs they have set by their coach, keep their heads up and who knows they could just steal a win out from under the sleepy Supercats while they recover from a tough battle the night before.

This is the battle to stay off the bottom of the ladder, the winner will jump into 8th while the other lands themselves on the bottom of the leaderboard and in trouble of being relegated. These two teams have struggled so far this season finding the other teams to be that one step ahead of them each each week, but both teams will be rubbing their hands together knowing this is a match that’s possible. With Chelsea having home court advantage hopefully they can even up the head to head match up since Eltham got the last win when they met back in round 4.

From the bottom of the table battle to the top of the table battle we get set to see Keilor (2nd) take on Sunbury (1st), with the Jets going down in a shock loss last round its going to be interesting to see how they recover from it, will they come out to prove a point or will the cracks continue to show? Keilor will be loving that Sunbury dropped the ball last round, it gives all the teams coming up against the Jets a new found confidence, the Thunder need to start strong and hold the game to their tempo especially in front of their home crowd, if Camberwell can knock the Jets out of the sky so can the Thunder. What a game to close out round 10!!!

Geelong vs. McKinnon                                    Sat 5pm                                   AWA Alliance Bank Stadium

Camberwell vs. Corio Bay                               Sat 6pm                                   Balwyn High School

Craigieburn vs. Geelong                                 Sun 12pm                                Craigieburn Sports Stadium

Chelsea vs. Eltham                                          Sun 1pm                                  Patterson River Stadium

Keilor vs. Sunbury                                           Sun 1:30pm                             Keilor Basketball Stadium

Youth League Two Men

Part of us can see this next match going one of two ways. Either dominantly by one side in particular or going as close to the wire as you can get. We are of course talking about the Warriors and Eagles clash coming up this Saturday. Both of these sides are on winning streaks, the Eagles 2nd, the Warriors 4th. But although these two have not met previously, we feel like we have to give the edge to the Eagles. They have been the more consistent force this season, on the ball from the get go. But the Warriors have proven to struggle against those above them, most recently the Blues two weeks ago. Can they put this habit to bed?

This game won’t be the only tough game the Warriors have to contend with this weekend, coming up against the All Stars on the Sunday. We remember these two having some great meetings last year and it will be interesting to see if either side has changed much. This will be the first time these two have met this season so time will soon tell. Both have players that are dominating lately, Athiaan Manyiel for the All Stars and Ned Weideman for the Warriors, both nominees in last week’s Blue Carpet.

One side that has come into their own over the last month is the Blues. They have 4 straight wins to their name and have worked their way in the top 3. They are going to be quick to make this 5, when they meet with the Panthers this weekend. Although the Panthers have a long line of loses, it should be noted that they have come close on a number of occasions. This isn’t to say that they could be a challenge for the Blues, but more so to say that they can be competitive and have shown to keep margins to a bare minimum.

Let’s not forget about the Blues match up on the Sunday, they host the Maccabi Warriors. We had a great feeling about the Warriors at the start of the season and they only showed us early on why we did. They were beating teams back then that now rule the roost and in only the few games they lost, the margins were barely anything. But then something changed. Did teams work them out? Did the excitement of the new season wear off? They sit out of the top 6, having only won one game out of their past 5. Hopefully they can show some promise in this match.

Racking up the wins of late is the Breakers who are up to 3 straight earning themselves a 5th placing on the ladder. This weekend will be an easy one for them, taking the drive out to the country to take on the Energy. It is no news to anyone that the Energy are taking blow after blow, but in what we see as an improvement, the margin in their loss against ladder leaders last week was the smallest it has been for a while at 24. If the Energy continue in this season as winless, all we and they can ask for is to see improvement.

The Cougars are back to their winning ways, partly due to taking on the bottom three sides over the past 3 weeks. The fixture may have another nice weekend coming up for them taking on both the Gulls and the Steelers, two sides that sit below them on the ladder. If the Cougars can secure both wins this weekend, their place in the competition will only improve. While the Cougars are on their winning streak, the Gulls and the Steelers are the opposite. Neither side has had a win for a couple of weeks and are desperate to stop the trend. But with the Cougars having already proved that they can beat both sides, the losses may continue for the Gulls and the Steelers.

Our ladder leaders the Thoroughbreds were quick to move on from their loss the other week and are hoping to make this a distant memory. They will only be adding to the W column this weekend, meeting with the Pacers on Saturday afternoon. Having met back in round 3, only 13 points separated the two on that occasion. With a lot of basketball having been played since then, we believe the Thoroughbreds will only improve on that margin.

Melton vs. Whittlesea                                        Sat 4pm                                    Melton Indoor Recreation Centre

Chelsea vs. Keysborough                                    Sat 4pm                                    Patterson River Stadium

Pakenham vs. Craigieburn                                  Sat 6pm                                    Cardinia Life

Latrobe vs. Mornington                                      Sat 6pm                                    Latrobe Leisure Traralgon

Wallan vs. Frankston                                         Sat 7pm                                    RB Robson Stadium

Collingwood vs. Pakenham                                 Sun 1pm                                   Collingwood College

Keysborough vs. Western Port                            Sun 1pm                                   Rowville Secondary College

Frankston vs. Maccabi                                       Sun 3.30pm                              Frankston Basketball Stadium

Youth League Two Women

Five more games as we tick past the half way mark of season 2018 and there is a clear favourite in the competition as we enter the back half of the regular season. The Casey Cavaliers are still in contention of running the gauntlet, with just Blackburn and Frankston left on their agenda to defeat every team in the competition. The Cavs will have to wait another week to continue on that journey however, as Western Port await them for the second time this season in Round Ten. The Cavs handed them a 15-point defeat the first time around, however the Steelers will be much more content playing on their own home deck, a place in which they’ve claimed all four of their wins this season!

Southern Peninsula host Pakenham in what is set to be an absolute blockbuster. The Sharks have lost two of their last three and will be keen to reverse some of that late form with a peach of a win here against another fancied opponent. For the Warriors however, it seems as though they’re going from strength to strength; with Ellie Coutts, Rhiannon Gallagher and Samantha Neil all playing at the top of their games. Southern Peninsula will make you earn it though and they’re 4-0 down at Hillview so far this season, continuing to make it a fortress down by the bay.

Sherbrooke will look to make it two on the trot after breaking their duck last week against Mornington. Unfortunately for the Suns, the Vikings are the opponents that stands in front of them! Four wins off their last five and surging towards the top, Blackburn are in a rich vein of form. The Suns will have to lock in defensively (last in the league for Opp PPG) and strike an early blow if they are to be in the game in the fourth. Can be done!

Werribee head to Frankston to open up the account on Sunday. The Devils just haven’t managed to put it all together so far this season, having lost their last five, the writing is well and truly on the wall in terms of finals aspirations. The good news is they’re holding their own at home (2-2), but they’re on the road this week and currently winless in five attempts when they do so. The Blues on the other hand are flying winning three of their last four, and undefeated on home deck. Annabel Fitter leading the way out there.

Finally, Mornington are looking to break their own duck egg with a trip to Mill Park. The Pacers have been an up and down lot so far this season, however have found a really good core to work with for the future and can make amends quickly with a win here. A victory actually puts them back in the hunt at 5-5, just within touching distance of the second (leaders not named Casey) tier of the comp. Hailey Wynd continuing to flourish in this competition and once again look for another big game.

Southern Peninsula vs. Pakenham                 Sat 5:30pm                              Hillview Stadium

Western Port vs. Casey                                   Sat 5:30pm                              David Collings Indoor Leisure Centre

Sherbrooke vs. Blackburn                               Sat 6pm                                   Belgrave Heights Christian School

Frankston vs. Werribee                                  Sun 1:30pm                             Frankston Basketball Stadium

Whittlesea vs. Mornington                             Sun 2pm                                  Mill Park Basketball Stadium

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