Round 16 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

Eltham and Hawthorn will clash in a Friday night finals preview, with the sides currently locked on five losses apiece. Both sides are well and truly in the hunt for a top two finish and this clash looks like a tight and tough contest in the making.

Knox looks to bounce back when they host Werribee, with their finals chances hanging in the balance. Three sides have eight losses but only two can make finals, and a match at home against the 5-13 Devils simply must end in victory if the Raiders want to play finals in August.

Casey and Hume will do battle in a matchup that could see the Cavs move to the brink of a finals berth. A once-promising season has fallen by the waste side for the Broncos, and a lack of depth plus meeting the Cavs on their home floor may prove a bridge too far.

McKinnon has an opportunity to arrest their season with a matchup against Corio Bay. The Cougars can’t afford to put a foot wrong and an upset defeat would put a line through their 2018 finals aspirations. A much-needed win is the first port of call, but a confidence-building rout would be a big boost for a side down on confidence.

Ringwood will look to put a recent lean patch behind them when they host Blackburn. The Hawks have been below their best in the last month, while the Vikes have seen a massive improvement in their own performance, which makes this clash a lot closer than it otherwise would have been. Can the Hawks bounce back or will the Vikes continue their giant-killing run?

The Hawks back up on Sunday with a trip to Corio Bay. It’s an opportunity for the visitors to inch closer to securing home court all the way through the playoffs, while the Stingrays will be looking to put in a strong showing of their own after a season that has been nothing short of disastrous in the end.

Hawthorn and Knox will clash in another potential finals preview. Of course, the Raiders still have work to do if they want to be there come August, and a surprise win against a Magic team that has been in stellar form all season would be a brilliant way to start. It certainly won’t come easily against a Hawthorn side which has blown expectations out of the water already this year.

Werribee hosts Waverley with the Falcons desperately seeking a win to keep their top two dreams alive. The Devils have been awful at home in 2018, boasting a dismal 1-8 record so far. That doesn’t bode well against a top side in Waverley, who has won three straight after stumbling for a couple of weeks. Nothing less than a W will do for the visitors.

New guys Blackburn and Keilor clash after some promising performances from both sides of late. The Thunder have won two straight while the Vikes have finished on top in three of their last five outings. Both will fancy their chances of victory in this one, and with nothing separating them you can flip a coin for the result.

Eltham vs Hawthorn                                       Fri 8pm                                    Eltham High School

Knox vs Werribee                                           Sat 7pm                                   State Basketball Centre

Casey vs Hume City                                         Sat 8pm                                   Casey Stadium

McKinnon vs Corio Bay                                   Sat 8pm                                   GESAC

Ringwood vs Blackburn                                   Sat 8pm                                   The Rings

Corio Bay vs Ringwood                                   Sun 2pm                                  Geelong Basketball Netball Centre

Hawthorn vs Knox                                           Sun 3pm                                  Boroondara Sports Complex

Werribee vs Waverley                                    Sun 3pm                                  Eagle Stadium

Blackburn vs Keilor                                         Sun 3pm                                  Mullum Mullum Stadium

State Championship Women

Sharks (9-­‐6) vs Cougars (4-­‐11)

The Sharks are now settled in the top five and in some form, which spells trouble for the Cougars as they enter the last few weeks of the season trying to secure another win or two. With Jaz Shelley and Peyton Little forming a strong partnership, it’s hard to see how the Cougars will go about stopping them. Though Ringwood has now dropped out of the top half, the Sharks won’t be keen to open the door back up and should be methodical in the way they go about getting the job done here. Sth Peninsula to win.

Broncos (9-­‐6) vs Raiders (13-­‐2)

Hume City has won four straight and are starting to look like a lock for finals, but they need to be mindful the Hawks (6th) are still in the hunt so wins are still vital. Up against the top-­‐of-­‐the-­‐ladder Raiders, the home team will have their hands full. Carly Mijovic is expected to miss again through injury, which means one less headache for the Broncos. Amazingly the Raiders are yet to drop a game on the road, will this be the first one? Don’t write the Broncos off, they will be up for the challenge and might just surprise. Expect a close finish.

Wildcats (2-­‐13) vs Falcons (12-­‐3)

Simply too much to play for here for the Falcons. Eltham were competitive last week, however they have lost six straight and that run of outs will surely continue. With finals fast approaching you sense Waverley is about to take it up a level, they have some powerful players across all positions and some strong depth. Back at home the Wildcats will no doubt put the effort in, but this one is beyond them. Falcons to win.

Thunder (4-­‐10) vs Boomers (3-­‐12)

Both teams have lost their last three games respectively, so the desire to win should be extremely high. Sarah Boothe continues to be one of the very best players in the league, but she is largely fighting a lone hand for the Boomers, though Jasmine Hines has certainly done her bit for the most part. The Thunder have dropped off a little bit and will sense a chance to turn it around in this game, but they will need to find a way to stop Boothe. Hard to see either team getting away from each other. Maybe Keilor’s young runners will prove the difference.

Jets (10-­‐5) vs Hawks (9-­‐7)

Ringwood’s slide has reached five straight losses and a sixth here will almost certainly put them out of the finals race – not mathematically, but confidence and form counts for everything in this game and right now both are going backwards for the visitors. At Sunbury, five straight wins has Coach K and his team reaching their peak at the right end of the season, ensuring the chance at a three-­‐peat is alive and well. Loaded with stars, the Jets are on the charge and should be too strong for the Hawks. Mark it down, Sunbury to win.

Round 16
Sth Peninsula vs McKinnon Sat 5:30pm Hillview Stadium
Hume City vs Knox Sat 8pm Broadmeadows Basketball Stadium
Eltham vs Waverley Sat 8pm Eltham High School
Keilor vs Bulleen Sat 8:30pm Keilor Basketball Stadium
Sunbury vs Ringwood Sun 2pm Boardman Stadium

Division One Men

Supercats (8-­‐11) vs Gulls (17-­‐3):

Hard to see the Supercats making the finals from here, but given they claimed a big scalp last week you need to be mindful of their capabilities. Having said that they face Chelsea here and with 10 straight wins it is unlikely the top-­‐of-­‐the-­‐ladder Gulls will let this one slide.

Black Angels (11-­‐9) vs Steelers (13-­‐7):

Melbourne Uni’s form last weekend was super impressive and with the fight for a finals berth still on they have to keep winning. The Steelers sit one place above them on the ladder and will prove a tough unit to crack. Expect a close contest, the Black Angels at home will fancy their chances.

Jets (4-­‐16) vs Seahawks (11-­‐9):

Warrnambool continues to remain in the finals hunt despite three losses from their last five games, however they face a weekend where they should claim wins against Sunbury (12th) and Whittlesea (11th). All four of Sunbury’s wins this season have been on their home deck, so they aren’t without a chance, but they will need do deliver something a bit better than their current run of six losses.

Boomers (9-­‐11) vs Energy (2-­‐18):

Bulleen’s season hangs in the balance, they literally need to win everything from here and hope the teams around them drop some games. The Boomers have shown they are capable of putting on a good show, but those performances have been too few and far between. Up against the lowly Energy, who have mustered just two wins for the season, the Boomers absolutely must get the job done.

Cougars (14-­‐5) vs Gators (16-­‐3):

Amazingly both teams meet having each come off a loss last round, a rare occasion based on the successful season they have had, but one will exit this game with a second straight loss. The Cougars are 8-­‐2 at home, though they were well below their best last time out. The Gators gave up top spot last week and will be keen to bounce back hard. Plenty of stars on show, too close to call.

Energy (2-­‐18) vs Cougars (14-­‐5):

Sunday starts with the Energy back at home to face Keysborough, who will either be up from the previous night, or they could be extremely desperate to get a win if they went down to Shepparton. The home team will give their all, but you couldn’t possibly see them being able to quell Enge and Newby.

Gators (16-­‐3) vs Jets (4-­‐16):

Like the Cougars, the mood of the Gators here will hinge on what went down the previous night. Back at home, Shepparton will be up and about and keen to build some percentage against the lowly Jets. Look for Shepp’s big guns to get plenty of the ball and rack up some big numbers.

Venom (10-­‐9) vs Supercats (8-­‐11):

Probably more make-­‐or-­‐break for Warrandyte than it is for Geelong, but you know only too well the visiting Supercats will take a free swing here and try and ruin the Venom’s chances of making the finals. The home team split a tough weekend last time out, but their home form is good (7-­‐2) and that will place them nicely here for a much-­‐needed victory.

Seahawks (11-­‐9) vs Pacers (6-­‐14):

The Seahawks return home and will be keen to finish the weekend with two wins, but they should avoid sleeping on the Pacers at all costs. Dom Bruno is torching teams right now and will give his all, but will it be good enough to counter everything Xavier Blount throws at the visitors?

Steelers (13-­‐7) vs All Stars (7-­‐13):

The round finishes with Western Port hosting Collingwood and given what’s at stake the home team will start warm favourites and should get the win. Manny Hendrix has enjoyed a big week on Big V TV, but it’s back to business as he tries to lead his All Stars to an upset win.

Geelong vs Chelsea Sat 3pm Geelong Arena
Melbourne Uni vs Western Port Sat 6:30pm Melbourne University Sports Centre
Sunbury vs Warrnambool Sat 7pm Boardman Stadium
Bulleen vs Latrobe City Sat 8pm East Doncaster Secondary College
Keysborough vs Shepparton Sat 8pm Rowville Secondary College
Latrobe City vs Keysborough Sun 1pm Latrobe Leisure Traralgon
Shepparton vs Sunbury Sun 1pm Shepparton Sports Stadium
Warrandyte vs Geelong Sun 2pm Warrandyte Sports Complex
Warrnambool vs Whittlesea Sun 3pm The Arc
Western Port vs Collingwood Sun 3:30pm David Collings Indoor Leisure Centre

Division One Women

As the finals rapidly approach the final rounds are seeing the top six go down to the wire. With the top two set in place, six teams are battling for the remaining four spots. Round 16 has the potential to be the defining round of the season. Let’s check out the games.

The Mildura Heat will look to make it five wins in the last six games as they welcome the Warrandyte Venom to the Toyota Hothouse. Vanessa Power and Alexis Gassion have provided an incredible one-two punch for the Heat all season long combing to average 42 points per contest. Look for them both to have big games against the lowly Venom.

With both teams eliminated from the post-season, the match-up between the Western Port Steelers and Latrobe City Energy will be for bragging rights. The Energy dominated the previous encounter by 18 points in round 3 and will be the favourites come Saturday night.

The Hawthorn Magic are the hottest team in division 1. Winners of five straight contests, the Magic will welcome the Cavaliers to Boroondara Sports Complex on Saturday night. The Cavaliers have the chance to tie the Heat at the top of the ladder but will need to win out their remaining games to nab the number one spot from the Heat. It starts with this difficult match-up against Hawthorn.

The match-up between the Werribee Devils and the Camberwell Dragons will have both teams’ play-off hopes riding on the result. For the winner their slim post-season hopes stay alive. For the loser their play-off hopes will come to an end. The Dragons will be hoping a win Saturday night, will then become a clean sweep of the weekend when they face-off against the cellar-dwelling Steelers. Camberwell cannot afford to lose this match-up otherwise they are eliminated from the play-offs. Look for Tahlia Higgs to have a big game for the Dragons.

Warrnambool and Whittlesea are so close to being assured of making the top six. But on the other hand, both cannot afford costly losses as they could as easily drop out of the top six if results go against them. Playing each other in round 16 is a cruel twist of fate as both teams are playing solid basketball winning three of their past five games. This one should make for an incredible match-up.

The Geelong Supercats will host the Chelsea Gulls to finish off round 16. Geelong has been led by Caitlin Shadbolt who has been sensational this season averaging 13.4 points per game. Shadbolt had the best game of her season posting a 23-point, 10-rebound double-double in round 15, and the Supercats will need her to fire again to defeat a pesky Chelsea Gulls side. The Gulls finally ended their horror 8-game losing streak in round 15 and will now look to build on the morale boosting win to finish the season strong.

Saturday July 14 2018
Mildura Heat vs. Warrandyte Venom                        6:00pm                        Toyota Hothouse
Western Port Steelers vs. Latrobe City Energy           7:00pm                        David Collings Indoor Leisure Centre
Hawthorn Magic vs. Casey Cavaliers                          7:30pm                        Boroondara Sports Complex
Werribee Devils vs. Camberwell Dragons                  8:30pm                        Eagle Stadium
Sunday July 15 2018
Camberwell Dragons vs. Western Port Steelers        1:00pm                        Balwyn High School
Warrnambool Mermaids vs. Whittlesea Pacers        1:00pm                        The Arc Sports Stadium
Geelong Supercats vs. Chelsea Gulls                          2:00pm                        AWA Alliance Bank Stadium

Division Two Men

As the race towards the play-offs heats up the battle for the number one seed in the Division 2 is heating up. The Craigieburn Eagles and the Coburg Giants are tied at the top with 14 wins. This round has the potential to be the defining round of the season. Let’s check out the games.

The Southern Peninsula Sharks want to be the top team in the league. Currently sitting in third place, the Sharks have played some outstanding basketball winning four of their last five games. But it will be a bigger challenge when they play the Eagles on Saturday night. The Eagles thumped the Sharks by 53 points the last time the two teams played in round 9. This doesn’t bode well for the Sharks.

Melton are precociously placed on the cusp of the top six after losing in round 15. The Thoroughbreds are beginning to falter at the worst possible time of the season. But they should be able to right the ship when they play against the cellar-dwelling Bushrangers. North East remain winless on the season and will need an almighty effort to knock off Melton.

Camberwell are sitting in fourth place and need a win against Panthers in round 16 to assure the Dragons play post-season ball. The Dragons should overwhelm the Panthers and albeit secure safe passage to the play-offs. In a battle of the flames, the Mildura Heat welcome the Sherbrooke Suns to the Toyota Hothouse Saturday night. Calvin Henry has been the best player for the Heat this season averaging 22 points and 10 rebounds a contest, he went off for 26 points the last time these teams faced off. Look for him to have another big game on Saturday night.

Coburg and Southern Peninsula face off in what could be the match of the round on Sunday afternoon. Both teams are battling for top seeds and the home court advantage it comes with and both squads are enjoying 3-game winning streaks. Something must give on Sunday afternoon. Patrick Green led the way with 16 points for the Giants in round 15, he should have another big game against the Sharks.

The Eagles will host the Bushrangers on Sunday it what has the potential to be a blow-out victory for the league leading Craigieburn. It would be the shock of the season if the Bushrangers were able to record a stunning win. Camberwell possess one of the most stifling defences in all of D2M holding opponents to 72.1 points per contest.

The Dragons will need to be at their stingiest best when they host the Pakenham Warriors. One of the best offensive sides in the league, averaging 85.9 points per game. This has the hallmarks of being a cracking encounter between the might of offence versus defence. Can’t wait.

Maccabi Warriors host the Altona Gators at Bialik Stadium to end round 16. While the Gators post-season ambitions will have to wait until next season, the Warriors post-season dreams are still mathematically possible. But the equation starts with a victory of the pesky Gators squad. Altona went down by 12 points when the teams last played in round 12 but will be hoping to square the ledger on Sunday.

Saturday July 14 2018
Southern Peninsula Sharks vs. Craigieburn Eagles    7:30pm                        Hillview Stadium
Melton Thoroughbreds vs. North East Bushrangers  8:00pm                        Melton Indoor Recreation Centre
Wallan Panthers vs. Camberwell Dragons                 8:00pm                       RB Robson Stadium
Mildura Heat vs. Sherbrooke Suns                             8:00pm                       Toyota Hothouse
Sunday July 15 2018
Coburg Giants vs. Southern Peninsula Sharks            1:00pm                       Coburg Basketball Stadium
Craigieburn Eagles vs. North East Bushrangers         2:00pm                       Craigieburn Sports Stadium
Camberwell Dragons vs. Pakenham Warriors            3:00pm                       Balwyn High School
Maccabi Warriors vs. Altona Gators                          3:00pm                       Bialik Stadium

Division Two Women

Three rounds to go! The season has flown!

Match of the Round looks to be the opening game as North East host Blackburn in Wodonga. Back in Round 6 in April, the Bushrangers collected a comfortable road win, and the Vikings will be looking for revenge here. A win for the visitors will go a long way to cementing a Top 4 finish, and will see North East potentially slip out of the Top 5 if other results go against them. A home team win will clinch the series and make Blackburn earn their spot in remaining games. Expect this one to be a hotly contested match up with so much at stake.

Collingwood are back at Darebin playing host to Sherbrooke season. The All Stars on current form might feel like they should start as favourites but in the return match earlier in the year, the Suns recorded their sole win of the season so if they can reproduce that, it will make things very interesting in the battle for 5th spot.

Another team who has got their mojo back are Melbourne Uni. After a couple of stutters, they are back on a two game winning streak and welcoming the Eagles from Craigieburn. If the Black Angels are to flex their pennant credentials this is the team they will have to beat to do so. The Eagles despite just doing enough in recent games still boast a 4 game streak so they certainly have shown they have depth despite some injury worries of late.

Mornington ended their slim mathematical chances last week officially and Coburg’s season whilst showing lots of promise has been one of development for a number of weeks now. The Breakers will still be looking to win their remaining games to finish their season on a high, whilst a Coburg have tested teams over the season but without the Ws to show for it. With pride at stake this one could be a close encounter.

A short turnaround for the Eagles, countered by the 3hr travel could make this game an interesting one on Sunday, being the second game of the weekend. Depending on the result the previous night, North East could be playing to maintain their spot in the post season in the short term. The Eagles have been very hard to beat and have had only one loss all year, so North East will need to produce something special – but they’ve shown they have the talent and with a lot riding on the result the Bushrangers have more at risk.

Some exciting games this round as we see the finish line in sight. Good luck to all teams.

North East vs. Blackburn                                            Sat 5pm           Wodonga Sports & Leisure Centre

Collingwood vs. Sherbrooke                                       Sat 7pm           Darebin Stadium

Melbourne Uni vs. Craigieburn                                  Sat 8:30pm      Melbourne University Sports Centre

Mornington vs. Coburg                                               Sat 8:30pm      Mornington Basketball Stadium

Craigieburn vs. North East                                          Sun 12pm        Craigieburn Sports Stadium

Molten Victorian Youth Championship Men

Round 16 is the final regular season round in the VYCM. 11 teams are still in contention for the eight play-off spots. There is going to be elation for some squads, and heartbreak for others. Let’s check out the final round match-ups. The Hawthorn Magic will be fighting for its post-season life when the team travels to face the Eltham Wildcats. Sitting in third place in the Watson conference heading into the final weekend of the regular season. Depending on results, the Magic could see themselves as high as second place or out of the play-offs altogether. Look for a ferocious effort from the Magic in this one. The Wildcats are assured safe passage, but they will not want to enter the finals on the back of a loss. Should make for a great game.

Sandringham and Diamond Valley are both eliminated from post-season basketball so this one is for pride. Both teams are backing up with tough games on Sunday so look for them to put everything they have into this one and get the final win of the season.

The Tigers have the ability to scrap and fight their way into the final four of the Terrill conference. But they must defeat league leaders Dandenong on Friday night or their season is over. Melbourne received an entire team effort to knock off Diamond Valley in round 15, but will need even more to take down one of, if not, the best teams in VYCM. For the Rangers taking good form into the play-offs should be their goal in round 16, facing two very winnable games, they should take care of business and remain the favourites for the title.

The McKinnon and Sherbooke match-up has the signs of being the game of the round. Both teams are currently tied on 11 wins battling for the fourth and final spot in the Terrill conference. The equation is easy, win and you’re in, lose and you’re out. This should make for a belter!

Mathematically it is still possible for the Blackburn Vikings to make it to the play-offs, realistically it is a no hope, especially if they falter against a pesky Ringwood Hawks outfit. Heading to The Rings should be pencilled in as a Vikings win, but after pushing Eltham to the edge, it may not be that easy for Blackburn.

Bulleen are reeling. Four straight losses at the worst time of the season, has seen the Boomers fall closer to the chasing pack. One in this pack are the Kilsyth Cobras, the Boomers opponent for the Saturday fixtures. The Cobras are facing their own troubles dropping two straight games recently but will hope their stifling defence will power them to the vital victory.

Altona and Knox is another game for pride only, with both teams looking to next season, the game will be a chance for both squads to test their depths. The Magic will be hoping to be up 1-0 on the weekend, when they welcome the Eagles on Sunday. Hawthorn could finish as high as second place and will look to receive a big percentage boost at the Diamond Valley Eagles expense.

Keilor wants the number one seed in the Watson conference, taking care of business against the Blackburn Vikings will secure this valuable position. The Thunder should be too strong on the road. Kilsyth could be the biggest movers in VYCM come Sunday night. Two wins on the weekend, a few results their way, and they could be second, that’s the best case. Worst case they could be out of the play-offs. This match-up against the Gators needs to be a win. It should be… a big one too.

The Spectres tip-off for the final time in the regular season on Sunday afternoon against the Raiders. Nunawading is the better team and need to show they are not a team to be underestimated in the play-offs. Look for them to send a message to the rest of VYCM against Knox. Dandenong will be looking to secure the top spot in the Terrill conference on Sunday afternoon, and should by defeating the Sabres. The Tigers will hope their season is still alive come the final game of the round and if they are they will give everything they have to overcome the higher ranked Boomers to score a post-season spot. What a round.

Friday July 13, 2018

Eltham Wildcats vs. Hawthorn Magic                 6:00pm             Eltham High School

Diamond Valley Eagles vs. Sandringham Sabres  8:00pm             Diamond Valley Sports and Fitness Centre

Dandenong Rangers vs. Melbourne Tigers         8:00pm             Dandenong Basketball Stadium

Saturday July 14, 2018

McKinnon Cougars vs. Sherbrooke Suns             6:00pm             GESAC

Ringwood Hawks vs. Blackburn Vikings              6:00pm             The Rings

Bulleen Boomers vs. Kilsyth Cobras                   6:00pm             East Doncaster Secondary College

Altona Gators vs. Knox Raiders                          7:00pm             Altona Sports Centre

Sunday July 15, 2018

Hawthorn Magic vs. Diamond Valley Eagles       1:00pm             Boroondara Sports Complex

Blackburn Vikings vs. Keilor Thunder                 1:00pm             Knox Basketball Stadium

Kilsyth Cobras vs. Altona Gators                         2:00pm             Kilsyth Sports Centre

Knox Raiders vs. Nunawading Spectres              2:00pm             State Basketball Centre

Sandringham Sabres vs. Dandenong Rangers      2:30pm             Nunn Media Basketball Centre

Melbourne Tigers vs. Bulleen Boomers              3:00pm             Oakleigh Recreation Centre


Molten Victorian Youth Championship Women

The final round of the regular season, will see teams fighting for the play-off dreams. The number one seeds are set but the remaining six spots are up for grabs. The Sabres have been exceptional throughout the regular season. Riding an insane 14-game winning streak, Sandringham will look to finish its season on a high note when it travels to face the Diamond Valley Eagles to tip-off the final round. Diamond Valley are clawing on to the final play-off spot in the Terrill conference, with a hard-charging Knox Raiders squad looking to steal this sport. A loss here will mean the Eagles will need to defeat the Magic on Saturday night to proceed the post-season play.

The Tigers are enjoying a 5-game winning streak and will welcome the challenge of the Rangers a final tune-up before the play-offs get under next weekend. Melbourne should be too strong. Altona and Knox has the potential to be the game of the round. The winner will albeit assure its place amongst the play-off teams, the loser will be eliminated. Both teams have been playing great basketball over the last five games winning four a piece, so this match-up should make for a classic encounter.

Hawthorn will play a significant part in the finals of VYCW. While they will not be playing themselves, the Magic hold a number of teams’ destinies in their hands. If they can defeat the visiting Eagles Saturday night it could cause a massive shake-up in the final standings.

Bendigo will host a difficult match-up against the challenging Kilsyth outfit. The Braves are sitting in third place and have two stars in Jessica Mangan and Danielle O’Toole, as the duo combined for 40 points and 19 rebounds in round 15. But the Cobras possess one of the stingiest defences in the league. This should make for a cracking match-up. Waverley will need a victory over the higher-placed Nunawading Spectres to assure they are still a chance at play-off basketball. The Spectres have struggled over the last few games, this might be the perfect time for the Falcons to take advantage of their inconsistent play.

The Terrill conference top four is a case of cut-throat for many teams. Lose and you’re going home. Altona is a team staring down this exact scenario as they travel to Kilsyth on Sunday. The Gators will hope the recent outstanding play of Destiny Liu continues to secure them a finals berth. This match-up could be remembered as the defining game of VYCW for season 2018. The Ringwood Hawks have been one of the best teams all season long. They have the chance to showcase their might at the expense of the lowly Warrandyte Venom on Sunday. This will provide the perfect opportunity for Ringwood to rest on its starting core and play its bench before next weekend’s finals get underway.

Both Knox and Waverley could be battling for the play-offs once this one tips off at midday Sunday. The squads will give everything they have to get their teams over the line, should make for an incredible basketball game. Look for Grace Beasley, who has been the star of VYCW, to have a massive game. Hawthorn should be too strong for the Broncos in this final game. Melbourne should head into the play-offs with a 7-game winning streak being too strong for the Boomers to end round 16.

Friday July 13, 2018

Diamond Valley Eagles vs. Sandringham Sabres  6:00pm             Diamond Valley Sports and Fitness Centre

Dandenong Rangers vs. Melbourne Tigers         6:00pm             Dandenong Basketball Stadium

Saturday July 14, 2018

Altona Gators vs. Knox Raiders                          5:00pm             Altona Sports Centre

Hawthorn Magic vs. Diamond Valley Eagles       5:30pm             Boroondara Sports Complex

Bendigo Braves vs. Kilsyth Cobras                      6:00pm             Bendigo Stadium

Waverley Falcons vs. Nunawading Spectres       8:15pm             Waverley Basketball Centre

Sunday July 15, 2018

Kilsyth Cobras vs. Altona Gators                         12:00pm          Kilsyth Sports Centre

Warrandyte Venom vs. Ringwood Hawks           12:00pm          Warrandyte Sports Complex

Knox Raiders vs. Waverley Falcons                    12:00pm          State Basketball Centre

Sandringham Sabres vs. Dandenong Rangers      12:30pm          Nunn Media Basketball Centre

Hume City Broncos vs. Hawthorn Magic             1:00pm             Broadmeadows Basketball Stadium

Melbourne Tigers vs. Bulleen Boomers              1:00pm             Oakleigh Recreation Centre

Youth League One Men

Round 16 signals the final regular season round in what has been a domination by the Sunbury Jets. The Jets have cruised to the number one seed behind a sensational season. But their opponents in the post-season are still up the air. We will have our final teams after this round of cracking match-ups. Let’s check out the games.

The Casey Cavaliers will host the Hume City Broncos to tip-off the final round of regular season games in YL1M. With both teams eliminated from the play-off chase, this game will be an opportunity for the squads to test their depth before the end of the season. Both teams have shown glimpses of the type of basketball needed to feature in the finals come next year, but consistency has been the challenge for the squads. Look for the Cavs to be too strong on their home court. Casey will back up Friday night by travelling to face the Miners at the MARS Minerdome. Ballarat should take advantage of the road weary Cavaliers team, tying them with the sixth-placed side on wins. But the Miners will regret the missed opportunities throughout the season will have caused them to miss out on post-season play. Ballarat endured eight losses by more than 15 points during the season, something that needs to be a point of focus come next season.

Corio Bay cannot slip up at this final challenge and must take care of the lowly Hume City Broncos to assure their safe passage to the play-offs. The Stingrays will turn to Jordan O’Leary to provide some scoring punch. The Geelong Supercats have struggled over its last five games, dropping three contests, including a narrow 2-point loss to the Dragons in round 15. Geelong will look to make amends against the Braves and secure a top four spot for play-offs. Sunday’s match-up is against the Jets, so this will be the only Supercats victory of the weekend.

Warrandyte and Camberwell is poised to be the game of the round. Tied on the same record, the match-up between the sixth and seventh placed teams will see the winner advance to the play-offs. With their seasons on the line, both teams will be hustling, scrapping and fighting on both ends. This one should be a sensational match-up.

Sunbury have sown up the top spot and have the opportunity to finish the season with an incredible 21-1 regular season record when they travel to face the Geelong Supercats. The Jets have been the standout team in the league, they are the favourites to win the title, and should take care of business in this one.

Corio Bay players and fans will hope they are breathing easy assure of post-season play come Sunday afternoon when they host the Braves. The Braves have proved to be a tricky opponent for many of the top seeded squads and could cause heartbreak for the Stingrays.

Waverley have assured themselves the second seed sitting three games clear of the pack. In third place are the Werribee Devils, the Falcons opponent to end the regular season. The Devils are looking to end a three-game losing slide in this final match-up and hoping to rediscover some resemblances of the form they had a few rounds ago when they had won seven of their last eight matches.

Friday July 13, 2018

Casey Cavaliers vs. Hume City Broncos              8:00pm             Casey Stadium

Saturday July 14, 2018

Ballarat Miners vs. Casey Cavaliers                    4:00pm             MARS Minerdome

Hume City Broncos vs. Corio Bay Stingrays         6:00pm             Broadmeadows Basketball Stadium

Bendigo Braves vs. Geelong Supercats               8:00pm             Bendigo Stadium

Sunday July 15, 2018

Camberwell Dragons vs. Warrandyte Venom     11:00am          Balwyn High School

Geelong Supercats vs. Sunbury Jets                   12:00pm          AWA Alliance Bank Stadium

Corio Bay Stingrays vs. Bendigo Braves              12:00pm          Geelong Basketball Netball Centre

Werribee Devils vs. Waverley Falcons               1:00pm             Eagle Stadium

Youth League One Women

Five game slate this weekend as Youth League One Women has three rounds left to play and for some teams, A LOT to play for!

No spot is locked in when it comes to playoff contention and there are some important games coming to a head this weekend. The round kicks off with Eltham hosting McKinnon where the Cougars are in dire need of a win. Sitting one game back from the top four, the visitors here really let one slip last week, while letting Craigieburn stay in the hunt! Can Chelsea Bransden and Tamara Booth lead the Cougs to a win here? They surely go in as short favourites.

The Eagles have the toughest match-up of the sides aiming to secure a berth that’s on the outer, with third placed Geelong coming to town. The hosts have won three straight games and have been buoyed by the mid-season inclusion of Casey Valenti-Paea, which has also allowed the continuation of other players to further flourish such as Shona Brooks. With Carly Sanders missing last week, if she misses again this definitely plays into the home side’s hands. Can Jaimee Crombie step up and ice third spot for the Supercats?

Keillor are gunning for top spot and home finals all the way through, and can keep pace with the Jets with a victory over Camberwell. The Dragons are up against it and could be out of the top four (although currently have H2H over McK by 1pnt over two games, with a game to play) before they know it! Katie Byrne has been in some fine form for the Thunder, as has Amelia Velardo – expect these two to feature again.

Sunbury host Corio Bay in what will virtually knock the Stingrays slim hopes of qualifying for the post-season if they are to be unsuccessful here. Teagan Tatlock returned to the fray last season for some much needed offensive power, however the ‘Rays season quickly fell to bits over the second half of the year, having now lost four of their last five. If it wasn’t already tough to defeat the league leaders at home, their form suggests it’s even tougher.

Chelsea hosts Craigieburn in the final game of the round, and the ever improving Gulls could make the biggest statement of their season if they are to knock the Eagles out of playoff contention. If they can find 40+ points out of Chloe Breznjak and Abbey McNamara they may just go a long way to deciding this one. The visitors however are a team in form, and determined to be playing finals basketball.

Eltham vs. McKinnon                                      Sat 6pm                                               Eltham High School

Craigieburn vs Geelong                                   Sat 6pm                                               Craigieburn Leisure Centre

Keilor vs. Camberwell                                     Sat 6:30pm                                          Keilor Basketball Stadium

Sunbury vs. Corio Bay                                     Sun 12pm                                            Boardman Stadium

Chelsea vs. Craigieburn                                  Sun 1pm                                              Patterson River Stadium

Youth League Two Men

Three rounds to play in Youth League Two Men and the race is really heating up where some teams have it all to play for and could potentially be playing ‘pre-finals’ just to make it to the post-season.

Western Port is arguably the most likely to claim a playoff spot from those sitting on the outer, while Whittlesea and Keysborough are coming from a long way back. Craigieburn looks like they’re safe, while Mornington are the team that have their heads turned seeing all of these teams right on their tail.

We start with the Breakers who host Chelsea off the back of two straight wins. Max Brzezek was excellent last weekend, but the Breakers will have more than their work cut out defensively with Aaron Frost. Mornington boast a 6-3 home record, while the Gulls struggle on the road 3-7.

Melton will need Bol Bak to full strength when the Breakers back up on Saturday night. A quiet performance last week against Frankston should have the MVP favourite determined to bounce back. The ‘Breds are 7-3 at home and the combination of Bak and Broden Collins should be too strong for Mornington on the back up.

Frankston are on top of the table in their return season in the Big V and in Round 16 host the winless Energy. Look for contributions from the likes of Vincent Monaghan, Mitch Zuijdwijk and Luke D’Alcorn, while Brad Watson will continue to produce the goods for the visitors.

Craigieburn head to Wallan in order to confirm their position in the finals, plus the opportunity to move up into home finals positions. The troubling sign for the Eagles however is that they’re just 4-4 on the road, despite the excellent offensive the team possesses. The Panthers have had a season they’d rather brush aside, but they’ll play right to the end despite winning one of their last five.

Latrobe City are back at home on Saturday night, awaiting the arrival of Maccabi. The Warriors haven’t tasted success over their last five outings, however should be making amends here on the road. Idan Shamis has been excellent all season in a struggling outfit, while Ben Chai Grosman played very well last week.

The Warriors back up on Sunday at Bialik against a surging Whittlesea outfit who have won two on the bounce. The advantage Maccabi have up their sleeve is that the Pacers are only average on the road at just 3-6. Gabe Evans has been in form over the last month and will once again lead the charge for the visitors.

Finally, Western Port host Pakenham in a game where we’ll see how Ned Weideman backs up his outstanding 44 point performance from last week. The Steelers are led by Luke Helbig and Jack Duff, two very good players in the competition who are currently facing the prospect of shutting up shop early for season 2018 if they don’t move up the table quickly. Looks to be a cracking game!

Mornington vs. Chelsea                                  Fri 7pm                                    Mornington Basketball Stadium

Frankston vs. Latrobe City                              Fri 8pm                                    Frankston Basketball Stadium

Melton vs. Mornington                                   Sat 6pm                                   Melton Indoor Recreation Centre

Wallan vs. Craigieburn                                    Sat 6pm                                   RB Robson Stadium

Latrobe City vs. Maccabi                                 Sat 7pm                                   Latrobe Leisure Traralgon

Maccabi vs. Whittlesea                                  Sun 1pm                                  Bialik Stadium

Western Port vs. Pakenham                           Sun 1:30pm                             David Collings Indoor Leisure Centre

Youth League Two Women

The finish line is in sight for the teams in YL2W. With only three rounds remaining, every match-up is staring to carry more and more post-season complications. The Casey Cavaliers have recently stumbled at the top of the ladder but bounced back last round. The Warriors are hot on their heels. But the final seedings are still up for grabs. Round 16 should make for a stellar round of basketball. Let’s check out the games.

The Pakenham Warriors have discovered some truly devastating form as we head towards the finals in YL2W. Currently enjoying a three-game winning streak, which includes knocking off league leaders Casey Cavaliers, the Warriors are thrashing opponents. Pakenham are defeating opponents by an average of 26.7 points per contest during the streak. Their next opponents are the Frankston Blues… the best defensive squad in the league. The Blues have been holding opponents to a paltry 49.3 points per game this season 2018. But the team will get a true test when it tries to slow the Warriors. This should be the game of the round.

Casey have been the best team in the league until facing its first true adversary in recent rounds falling to two straight losses. The Cavaliers bounced back in round 15 with a 76-point destruction of the Mornington Breakers. Safe to say the worst period of the Cavaliers season is well and truly over. In Round 16 the Blackburn Vikings have the unenvious task of trying to slow the potent Casey offence. The Vikings have received big games from a rotating cast of players. It was Nikolina Sukurica who was the star scoring 14 points while grabbing six rebounds in round 15. They will hope this cast of players can all fire at once to have any chance against the Cavaliers.

Werribee have enjoyed a solid run recently, winning four of its past five games. The Devils will look to make it five of the last six games as they host the Western Port Steelers on Saturday night. The Steelers have tumbled out of post-season contention dropping two of their last three games. Another loss here and their play-off hopes are officially gone. Look for a scrappy and determined effort to keep the dream alive.

Mornington Breakers are suffering through a 15-game losing streak. Sherbrooke Suns are suffering through a 6-game losing streak. Thankfully for one of these squads, one of these horror runs will come to a close this weekend when the teams face-off. The Southern Peninsula Sharks will hope to get back on the winner’s list to close out round 16 when they travel to Mill Park to face the Pacers. Southern Pen have lost two straight games and seeing the team lose touch with the top teams in YL2W. But the last time these two teams faced off the Shark eeked out a narrow 3-point victory on their home court. Now in the reverse fixture, the Pacers should have the upper hand. The Pacers have been one of the highest scoring teams in the league and will need this high powered offence to fire if they are going to come away with the victory.

Friday July 13, 2018

Frankston Blues vs. Pakenham Warriors                    6:00pm            Frankston Basketball Stadium

Saturday July 14, 2018

Casey Cavaliers vs. Blackburn Vikings                        6:00pm            Casey Stadium

Werribee Devils vs. Western Port Steelers                6:30pm            Eagle Stadium

Mornington Breakers vs. Sherbrooke Suns                6:30pm            Mornington Basketball Stadium

Whittlesea Pacers vs. Southern Peninsula Sharks      7:30pm            Mill Park Basketball Stadium

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