Round 5 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

Werribee and Hawthorn will do battle in a match that has suddenly taken on post-season importance despite there being plenty of the season left to run. The Devils are 2-3 and have the talent capable of challenging for a finals spot, while the Magic have improved in the early stages of the year and sit mid-table with a 2-2 record. A win for the visitors could see them go back above .500 and nestle into the top six after five rounds – something that few would have seen coming. The Devs have been inconsistent and their defense has been lacking, averaging over 100 points conceded per game. That said, a couple of tight losses have robbed them of a good record and there is plenty of time to put together a defensive identity.

Blackburn and Corio will look to climb off the bottom of the ladder with their second win of the season when they meet at Knox. The Vikings started well in their SCM venture but have fallen away in the past fortnight, while the Stingrays have been competitive in patches but remain the worst side in the league for now. The home side will start favourites with Brendan Trewella leading the charge, but depending on which Corio outfit shows up we could well have a game on our hands.

Knox welcomes Ringwood in a clash between two in-form sides, with game of the round written all over it. The Raiders looked shaky over the first two weeks but have hit back hard, and two big wins last weekend against top sides has them purring again. The Hawks are… the Hawks, and will be as tough as ever to knock over, however on the road they are far less formiddable than when they’re playing host at the Rings. Plenty to get hyped about over this one in a possible early-season finals preview. The Raiders have the slightest of edges at home, but the consistency of the Hawks is hard to go past as well. Toss a coin.

McKinnon and Eltham will do battle in a match between two sides looking to bounce back. The Cougars were cruising at this stage last week but two defeats at the weekend has them back in the pack, while the Wildcats are languishing mid-table with a 2-2 record. A win for the visitors suddenly draws them all-but level with some of the top sides, and the Cougars will certainly need to kick it back up a notch to avoid a third successive defeat.

Waverley will look for a third straight win when they welcome Werribee to town. The Falcons have been impressive so far in 2018 despite sitting at just 3-2 and in the pack. They will like their chances of making it four wins for the year against a Devils side who may let them do as they please with the ball, and especially coming off a match the night before as well. Waverley should be able to get the chocolates and continue on their merry way here.

Keilor and Hume City will finish up the weekend’s action when they clash at Keilor. The Thunder haven’t looked out of place in their new division, but with two losses in a row they will want a victory to settle things down again. The Broncos are sitting at 2-3 and have been hard to judge to date, but with Trevon Clayton starting to hit his straps they could yet make a push for a playoffs berth by season end.

Werribee vs Hawthorn Sat 7pm Eagle Stadium

Blackburn vs Corio Bay Sat 8pm Knox Basketball Stadium

Knox vs Ringwood Sat 8pm State Basketball Centre

McKinnon vs Eltham Sun 2pm GESAC

Waverley vs Werribee Sun 2.30pm Waverley Basketball Stadium

Keilor vs Hume City Sun 3.30pm Keilor Basketball Stadium

 


State Championship Women

Sharks vs Jets

Based on what we have seen in recent years it may come as a surprise that Sunbury is 2‐2 after 4 games, but it’s a sign of how competitive the competition is and this week’s trip to Rosebud is another tough test for the reigning champs. Interestingly, last year’s two grand finalists share a 2‐7 record so far this season! The Sharks will be up for this one and will go all out to get another game’s break on the Jets. Lots of talented players on display. Can Sunbury halt Sth Peninsula’s thirst for scoring? Expect a nailbiter.

Boomers vs Falcons

It’s been a miserable start for Bulleen and unless there is a sharp turnaround this showdown with Waverley could be another disappointing result. The Falcons eased past McKinnon last week without Bowen or Vanderzaag, who will both be back for this one. The Boomers are letting in a heap of points right now and simply have to lock in and keep the Falcons under control to have any chance of a win. Mokrzycki delivered a ripper last week for the Falcons and will take a heap of confidence from that performance, helping to make Waverley a huge contender this season. Waverley to start big favourites and they should get the win.

Thunder vs Raiders

Keilor faces its biggest test yet with Knox paying them a visit. The Raiders don’t like giving up points and will provide a great challenge to Keilor’s young guns. With a logjam in the middle of the ladder, this game would certainly be a massive boost for the Thunder (2‐2) if they can find a way to upset their visitors. Bec Ott’s return last week was a massive inclusion for Knox and she will take some stopping here.

Cougars vs Wildcats

Fair to say both of these teams desperately need a win. Alice Kunek is back in town and could be a vital inclusion for the Wildcats, and if she does step on court it will take a mighty effort from the Cougars to keep the Opal under control. McKinnon has lost four straight and the margins haven’t been great, so a bounce‐back here will provide them with a massive boost. It’s now or never for both teams, so expect a red‐hot contest.

Raiders vs Hawks

Knox returns home on Sunday for a top‐of‐the‐ladder clash with Ringwood. Both teams continue to be frontrunners in this competition and they will be hungry for the kudos that comes with a win here. The Raiders will be going all out to limit Mihalko and Ramos, the dual imports already proving to be a handful for opposition teams. If one or both of Ringwood’s stars can be limited it will go a long way to helping the home team grab the win. On the flipside, look for Ott and Santamaggio to stretch Ringwood’s defence with their creative playmaking and shooting ability. Good game on the cards with a narrow margins expected.

Round 5

Sth Peninsula vs Sunbury Sat 6pm Hillview Stadium

Bulleen vs Waverley Sat 7pm East Doncaster Secondary College

Keilor vs Knox Sat 7:30pm Keilor Basketball Stadium

McKinnon vs Eltham Sun 12pm GESAC

Knox vs Ringwood Sun 2pm State Basketball Centre


Division One Men

Black Angels vs Chelsea

R5 starts with the high‐flying Gulls visiting Melbourne Uni, who finally grabbed a win last week and will hopefully go in with some confidence. Chelsea is on top and look the team to beat early in the season, so a great test for the home team. Gulls to start warm favourites, but they won’t take this one without a fight.

Supercats vs Boomers

Both teams have a 2‐3 record and will know the importance of this clash as they try to stay in touch with the top half. Thadd Varmall will be the star player, but he’ll need some help from his fellow Boomers, while the Supercats will just go non‐stop from start to finish. Crucial game!

Cougars vs Jets

A cracking start to the season by the Cougars and given what we have seen so far from the Jets (though they did finally win last week), you can’t go past the home team for the win. Between Enge and Newby, the Cougars look aggressive at the offensive end and are proving a handful for opponents. Cougars to win.

Seahawks vs Gators

Warrnambool is at home again and welcome a Shepparton unit eager to bounce back after a close loss at home last week to Keysie. Lots of stars on show and no doubt some more big individual performances coming our way. Sit back and enjoy, this could be one of the more entertaining games of the season.

All Stars vs Venom

Collingwood looked competitive down at The Arc and will be up despite the loss, while the Venom dropped their first game last week in a close contest. Expect a close result here with both teams capable of getting the win. It could simply come down to errors – force them on the opposition, but limit your own.

Pacers vs Steelers

Whittlesea has a big weekend and still without a win they will have a tough time against Dylan Travis and the Steelers. Coming in off a split double, hard to see Western Port going softly on the Pacers.

Jets vs Pacers

Whittlesea backs up on Sunday with a trip to Sunbury, the Jets also on the double. A real opportunity for both teams and perhaps season‐defining given they are both trying to stay in touch with the top half. The Jets looked good last week and will take plenty from that win, so they might start slight favourites here on their home track.

Energy vs Black Angels

It is simply now or never for the Energy, they just can’t afford to drop a seventh straight game. Hopefully the home team will be back to full strength and in a position to really test the visiting Black Angels, who will be backing up from a tough game against Chelsea the night before. Will we finally get to a see a Latrobe City win?

Boomers vs Cougars

Both teams are backing up and though most people will jump to Keysie win, don’t sleep on the Boomers back on their home court. Varmall again will be the go‐to for the Boomers and if he can get some help at the offensive end the Boomers might cause an upset. However, anything less than 100 per cent at both ends will no doubt end in tears, the Cougars are up and about and look a sharp contender this season.

Melbourne Uni vs Chelsea Sat 6:30pm Melbourne University Sports Centre

Geelong vs Bulleen Sat 7pm AWA Alliance Bank Stadium

Keysborough vs Sunbury Sat 8pm Rowville Secondary College

Warrnambool vs Shepparton Sat 8pm The Arc

Collingwood vs Warrandyte Sat 8:30pm Collingwood College

Whittlesea vs Western Port Sat 8:30pm Mill Park Basketball Stadium

Sunbury vs Whittlesea Sun 1pm Boardman Stadium

Latrobe City vs Melbourne Uni Sun 2pm Latrobe Leisure Moe Newborough

Bulleen vs Keysborough Sun 3pm East Doncaster Secondary College


Division One Women

The Dragons have the tough task of travelling up to Mildura this weekend to take on the Heat on their home turf. They may be sitting undefeated, but this Mildura side may just be the team that knocks them off their perch. The likes of Power and Gassion have been making a nice tag team duo over the past few weeks and if they aren’t held, they’ll make you pay for it. But obviously the Dragons haven’t go to where they are without hard work and they’ll be keen to keep their streak untouched.

Our ladder leaders, the undefeated Cavs face two games this weekend, the Supercats on the Saturday night and the Energy on the Sunday. With how their opponents have been travelling of late, we can see this Cavs team steam rolling to a 7 and zip record. It’s been a team effort for the Cavs with multiple players stepping up week in week out to add to their teams success, making it hard for whoever they come up against to target any particular one. This will be the case this weekend, the Supercats and the Energy will need to do everything they can from their own end if they are to have any chance at causing an upset.

We always enjoy when the fixture puts the two undefeated teams together at such an early point in the season as we like to see teams get wins on the board. This weekend we will either see the Steelers or the Venom get their first win for the season and if we were to take a guess at who will be victorious, we have to go with the Steelers. If Winters and Munir can put a combined 42 points together like they did last week, they will get this win easy.

If the Steelers are unable to get their first win on Saturday night, they have an outside chance to do so on the Sunday. They are on the road to take on the Supercats, a team that has struggled to string wins together. This isn’t through the lack of trying however, coming close in a number of match just falling short. The Supercats will also be hoping to get at least the one win on the board this weekend, coming off what we believe will be a loss to the Cavs on Saturday night.

Can the Mermaids make it two wins in a row when they take on the Magic this weekend? They have struggled with their consistency of late and we would love to see them notch a few wins together. The Magic would have been disappointed with their efforts last week and will be hoping to redeem themselves on Saturday night. But will they be facing a long trip home with their heads in their hands or be celebrating until the early morning?

The Gulls are another team hit with a double weekend in round 4. They will be meeting the Devils first up, followed by the Pacers. We are expecting the Gulls to get the job done on Saturday night, the Devils looking down the barrel of their 5th straight loss. This may look like a down and out team, but they have been competitve in every single loss. It is only a matter of time before they convert to add another win to their name.

It’s going to be the Sunday game that the Gulls should be more wary of, taking on a team that are on the hunt for their 4th straight win. This Pacers side have done a great job to get to the spot that they’re in and with momentum on their side, they are looking the goods to continue on as is.

 

Warrnambool vs. Hawthorn Sat 6pm The Arc Sports Stadium

Mildura vs. Camberwell Sat 6pm Toyota Hothouse

Western Port vs. Warrandyte Sat 7.30pm David Collings Indoor Leisure Centre

Casey vs. Geelong Sat 8pm Casey Stadium

Chelsea vs. Werribee Sat 8pm Patterson River Stadium

Latrobe vs. Casey Sun 12pm Latrobe Leisure Traralgon

Geelong vs. Western Port Sun 2pm AWA Alliance Bank Stadium

Whittlesea vs. Chelsea Sun 2pm Mill Park Basketball Stadium


Division Two Men

North East have found that extra piece they needed to give them the fighting chance in Richard Townsend-Grant, after giving Mildura (who are sitting comfortably in the top 4) a run for their money. If the Bushies can continue last weekend’s form the Suns will need to bring their A game this round, it isn’t going to be as easy as they may have first thought. North East will have to try and put the breaks on Eric Miraflores who is having a stellar season so far, he might be little in stature but he plays a big game! Sherbrooke are coming off of 3 straight losses and are in much need of a win, but North East you could say need it even more considering they are yet to get one.

The Gators head across the city to try and take down the only team in the division yet to drop a match, Southern Peninsula, who will be defending their undefeated record of 5-0 leading into Round 5. Altona have had a rough start to the season with only 1 win next to their name, they get so close but it slips away at the last minute. They will need to come into this game confident and with the mindset that they can win and they will because if the Sharks smell any fear from the Gators they will attack showing no mercy.

Melton should be refreshed and rearing to go after a weekend off last week, they return to their home court for another run at defending what is theirs after dropping the ball against the Gators in Round 3. Its not going to be easy though, as the Warriors have shown they have unfinished business from 2017 and will not let anyone get in their way. Pakenham sitting in second place have recruited well and maintained key players from 2017 which has proven to be working well for their team style of basketball, their depth off the bench is a killer to other teams where they fall away quite quickly and rely on their main guys to get the job done. To get past this staunch Warriors line-up you must have a cavalry of players willling to do what it takes to get that win!

Hitting the road to the Hothouse this week is the Dragons on their quest to redeem themselves after going down in a nail biter last week to the third place Giants in the final minute of the match. Getting a win over Mildura on their home turf is something to be extremely happy with, the Heat don’t let too many matches past them at home, their loyal supporters get right behind them making it even harder for the visitors. Some would say they are a 10 point difference to playing them at any other venue, it’s amazing what a good home crowd can do for a team. Can the Dragons get out alive and with the win?

Maccabi surprised us all last week, especially Wallan when they put the nail in the coffin for Wallan’s horendous weekend. Coburg also coming off a win will be wanting to secure their spot on the ladder and as one of the front runners for the title this week because as we all know its do or die, every win or loss counts. I hope to see the Warriors come out with the confidence and fight like last week because as much as the ladder says these two teams are worlds apart this very well could be anyones game. Don’t underestimate the Giants though, if they are on they will run away with it before you even know what happened.

Who is your pick to take out the 2018 title?

North East vs. Sherbrooke Sat 7pm Wangaratta Indoor S&A Centre

Southern Pen vs. Altona Sat 8pm Hillview Stadium

Melton vs. Pakenham Sat 8pm Melton Indoor Rec Centre

Mildura vs. Camberwell Sat 8pm Toyota Hothouse

Maccabi vs. Coburg Sun 3pm Bialik Stadium

 


Division Two Women

After their successful opening home game at Belgrave, the Sherbrooke girls travel from the hills to the plains as North East visit Wangaratta for the first time this season as part of a home double header. The Bushrangers will be keen to get back on the winners list with a 50% record. If the Suns can grab a sneaky win here they could draw level with their hosts on the ladder. After a week off last week, the team from the North East might be fresher, but they’ll need some momentum ahead of another danger game against Craigieburn next week. The Suns have shown signs that they have the ability. Expect a close match up.

Two associations who have built a healthy rivalry over the last few years in particular are Craigieburn and Coburg. The Eagles are again at home this week as the team in teal might have a tough assignment here against a team who come into the game undefeated. Coburg need to find some more scoring options without needing to heavily rely on their big two of O’Conner and Newman. Craigieburn will seek inspiration from the captain in game 301 and Coburg will need to find a way to keep Cameron away from the glass.

Grantley Bernard has got the Black Angels in good touch at the moment and Tin Alley is fast becoming a bit of a fortress for visiting teams. Melton will need to be on their guard early in this one after their win against Mornington last time out. Playing coach Lauren Olcorn has had first hand insight on how the Thoroughbreds are gelling and they’ve had some purple patches in games. This will be a good hit out against an opponent who will be looking to nab top spot early in the season. An upset wouldn’t surprise.

Mornington’s depth has been tested of late, and following a loss at home last round the All Stars will be looking to redeem their form aginst the Breakers. Jada Buggs had an impressive game last start and if they can find the form that got them the win aginst North East a couple of week back, Collingwood might be hard for Mornington to stop. Rotations for both sides will be key given they both back up the next day.

The Panthers are showing signs they will be finals combatants yet again in their second season as they play host the Breakers. Wallan are also another team who are finding rhythm at home. Of the two games Mornington have this weekend, this one on paper might seem to be the least likely for a W especially after what is likely to be a tough battle against Collingwood the night before. If the Breakers can split their weekend, that will be a significant positive.

Collingwood return to familiar home surroudings on Sunday against Wallan’s opponents from last week, Blackburn. Andrea Belmonte leads scoring for the Vikings and after a quiet performance from Samantha Zennaro last round, expect an increased scoring output. Kate Fayle for the All Stars had a great game last round and will be hoping to build on that.

North East vs. Sherbrooke Sat 5pm Wangaratta Indoor Sports & Aquatic Centre

Craigieburn vs. Coburg Sun 8pm Craigieburn Sports Stadium

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

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

Wallan vs. Mornington Sun 1pm RB Robson Stadium

Collingwood vs. Blackburn Sun 3pm Collingwood College

 


Molten Victorian Youth Championship Men

Twelve games are inside Round Five and it seems as though after the first month or so we’re starting to really see the contenders make a name for themselves, while we’re also starting to note that there’s a few teams that will make up the numbers.

The Knox Raiders are arguably the form team of the competition having won their last five and will take great confidence into their games against Ringwood and Nunawading. Two opponents who have strengthened the competition in recent years may be seen to be dropping off a touch in the early parts of 2018 (both at .500). The best part about the Raiders’ hot start is that 2017 AS5 recipient and Vic Metro junior Malik Meunier hasn’t quite played a prominent part in it yet!

Both Nunawading and Ringwood play double headers with the Spectres travelling to Hawthorn on Saturday night, while the Hawks host Sandy at home. The Magic are flying at 5-1 and it’s their depth that’s doing the damage. Sandringham are no pushovers despite the poor record (on looks), and if Finn Kenny’s a regular then they’ve just got that much better inside. Looks to be quite a tough weekend for both Spectres/Hawks on paper.

What’s happened to the Vikings? A power over the last number of years, changeover must be getting the best of them because a 1-5 start is something we haven’t seen from the Vikes in a while. They host Melbourne before travelling to Dandenong in what looms as a deadly double header – don’t really like their chances to snag either unfortunately for Blackburn faithful.

Really like the look of McKinnon coming up against Eltham, both entering off win streaks. Think the Wildcats have got it right thus far in terms of personnel – Bryson Norris, Christian Yammouni, Tom Clifford and James Guley looks really good in terms of guard rotation. The Cougars may have something to match though, with Jordan Geer and Matt Crees. They’ve got the size too in Luke Oeynenborg and Daniel Borbajo; this could go the distance!

Diamond Valley have a weekend that could pose as season defining even though it’s so early on in the season. At 1-4 they’ve struggled to find any consistency and will want to find some momentum going into the middle parts of the season. Bulleen and Keilor are their direct opponents on the weekend and can both come out of the blocks fast. Look for Shayan Mahboobi and Matt Foster Jr to put some speed into the game, while when the Eagles back up on Sunday they must be wary of BJ Symons and Mitch Alush. The Thunder travel to Sherbrooke on Saturday night with the Suns red-hot offensively. The issue however is the defensive end where they’re giving up way too many points at the wrong end!

Sherbrooke travel to Melbourne on Sunday to wrap up the round and it’ll be much of the same there. The scout will surely be to make every attempt to slow down offensive minded Jakob Cornelissen and Dan Kinkela!

Knox vs. Ringwood Sat 6pm State Basketball Centre

Blackburn vs. Melbourne Sat 6pm Knox Basketball Stadium

McKinnon vs. Eltham Sat 7pm GESAC

Hawthorn vs. Nunawading Sat 7:30pm Boroondara Sports Complex

Diamond Valley vs. Bulleen Sat 8pm DV Sports and Fitness Centre

Sherbrooke vs. Keilor Sat 8pm Belgrave Christian Heights School

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

Altona vs. Kilsyth Sun 1pm Altona Sports Centre

Keilor vs. Diamond Valley Sun 1:30pm Keilor Basketball Stadium

Dandenong vs. Blackburn Sun 2pm Dandenong Basketball Stadium

Ringwood vs. Sandringham Sun 2pm The Rings

Melbourne vs. Sherbrooke Sun 3pm Oakleigh Recreation Centre


Molten Victorian Youth Championship Women

In what’s probably going to be one of the more quieter rounds of the 2018 season, Molten VYC Women has just eight games this weekend. However, what the round lacks in quantity is certainly made up for in quality!

Hawthorn start the weekend off early against Nunawading with the only 5:30pm booking and it’s been quite a hot start by the Spectres who enter Round 5 at 4-1. A change at the coaching helm hasn’t slowed the squad down (from last season) and they’re pitted in another winnable game which will allow them to keep pace with the league leaders. For the Magic, they felt like they were missing a couple of stars the last time they hit the floor and will be eager to see their record edge above .500.

Bulleen face an interesting double header this weekend, as they are faced with the tough task of Diamond Valley on the road first up on Saturday night. Amelia Smith and Meg Crupi have been all the more important for the Eagles, however their availability is certainly up in the air. The Boomers have relished Alysha Casey’s form and will need every bit of it on the Sunday when Warrandyte come to town fresh off their first victory. Could this be the chance Bulleen snag one too? Not sure, this could be the confidence boosting fortnight the Venom needed – don’t leave anything to chance though!

Speaking of the Venom, they have Ballarat enter the Web on Sat night and it’s a case of which Ballarat shows up. At 1-4, they were ultra competitive against the likes of Bendigo and Kilsyth, however were easily accounted for by Diamond Valley and Nunawading. The Rush should be going into this fixture favourites, but again, up in the air for sure! Should be a cracker and one for Venom locals not to miss.

Ringwood and Sandringham provide us with the first grand final rematch of the season.Neehara Ravikumar has been in some form for the Hawks, as has Morgan Riley for the Sabres after that stunning triple-double. The Sabres haven’t been as dominant as last season so far, however they coasted their way through the opening few rounds before making a barnstorming entrance to the championship scene last year. Could the same be on the cards starting with an impressive victory here?

Knox host Altona after being smacked by the aformentioned Sabres. The Gators produced arguably the weekend performance of the year thus far in R4 with two impressive wins (one being the Sabres, which ties in the form). Expect the Gators to be chomping at the bit here.

Dandenong have been well reported to be on the back foot this season and the surging Braves come to town in a fixture that doesn’t seem like it’ll ease that pain anytime soon. Melbourne battle Kilsyth in a fixture where the Tigers will want to respond after last week’s wipeout as well. Two big teams needing to respond, expect something to happen in those circles!

Hawthorn vs. Nunawading Sat 5:30pm Boroondara Sports Complex

Diamond Valley vs. Bulleen Sat 6pm DV Sports and Fitness Centre

Warrandyte vs. Ballarat Sat 7pm Warrandyte Sports Complex

Ringwood vs. Sandringham Sun 12pm The Rings

Knox vs. Altona Sun 12pm State Basketball Centre

Dandenong vs. Bendigo Sun 12pm Dandenong Basketball Stadium

Melbourne vs. Kilsyth Sun 1pm Oakleigh Recreation Centre

Bulleen vs. Warrandyte Sun 1pm East Doncaster Secondary College


Youth League One Men

If there’s a crunch game to light a fire on a Saturday afternoon, it’s two teams that desperately need a win. Camberwell head north to face Bendigo in a fixture that defines the above in spades. With both teams entering the round 1-4, the loser can (almost) kiss their season goodbye barring an impeccable second half of the season. With the Dragons losing key pieces over the off-season, their offensive has really struggled, last in the league. Bendigo hasn’t been as bad, yet will need to rely on their big guns to fire in Jake Willcocks and Sam Beks.

Casey are at home on Saturday night against Warrandyte before hitting the road to Geelong. The Cavs suffered their first loss of the year last week and will be keen to rectify that result. Brendan Head led the side, however keep a keen eye on the likes of Jordan Gooiker and David Gormile to spark the Cavs over the weekend. Warrandyte are well known for their offensive prowess, however it’s time the started locking it down on D. The same can be said for the Supercats, who are coughing up the third most PPG (in front of WDYTE/COB). Final thing on the Venom – undefeated at home, winless away; 3-3 record may say a little bit about them right now.

Corio Bay have the pleasure of welcoming Ballarat to the GBNC on Saturday night and the Miners are in a similar situation to that of the Venom. Five games down and their yet to win on the road (of three tries). However, one hoodoo will be broken as the Stingrays are yet to win on their own home deck thus far (of two tries) and if you’re trying to tip a winner, look no further than the inclusion/exclusion of Cohen Blythe. He’s been big in their ‘Rays two wins and quiet/missing in their losses. Our mail is he won’t feature in this one. The Miners back up on Sunday at home against a travelling Hume City side trying to find their wheels to the 2018 season. A shaky 1-4 start hasn’t helped proceedings, however a connecting Ballarat road trip on the Miners’ back-to-back is a perfect opportunity to rise as one.

Waverley host Werribee on the Sunday afternoon and this one should be a cracker! If the Devils were pushed a number of times earlier this season, they’ll be right up against it on the road this weekend. Nathan Malloy and Andy Noller have been locked in so far this season and with a match-up like this on the cards, don’t expect that to slow down.

Bendigo kicked off the weekend and they’ll be the one’s to wrap it all up, with another very winnable game this time at Coburg. The division’s only team yet to register a victory went ever so close to mustering one up in Round 4, but just couldn’t put four quarters together – they’ll have another big chance on Sunday arvo. For the Braves, it could be just the cure with a 2-0 weekend leapfrogging them over a number of competitors!

Bendigo vs. Camberwell Sat 4pm Bendigo Stadium

Casey vs. Warrandyte Sat 6pm Casey Stadium

Corio Bay vs. Ballarat Sat 7pm Geelong Basketball Netball Centre

Sunbury vs. Waverley Sat 8pm Boardman Stadium

Ballarat vs. Hume City Sun 10am MARS Minerdome

Geelong vs. Casey Sun 12pm AWA Alliance Bank Stadium

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

Coburg vs. Bendigo Sun 1pm Coburg Basketball Stadium


Youth League One Women

After a big start to the season the Supercats will get to rest their players in a well deserved weekend off this week, the weekend off will give the lady Supercats time to recover and strengthen their team even more as they sit nicely on top of the ladder.

Chelsea face off against the Cougars this round still searching for that victory whilst McKinnon look to boost their wins to bump them up the ladder and into the top 4. Its been a tough fight for Chelsea this season will the loss of key players from the 2017 season they have a young group who are slowly getting to know each other’s game, I really hope they can find their rhythm soon as they only have one more opponent to face before they start the round robin again. Because there is only 9 teams some teams will have to play each other 4 times throughout the year and if you were unlucky enough to get any of the top 4 you really do have your work cut out for you.

In what I would say will be the match of the round Camberwell head out to Corio Bay to face off with the Stingrays and the force that is Teagan Tatlock, so far this season not a single team has been able shut her down and she has led her team on all scoring fronts currently averaging 30.8PPG. Camberwell and Corio have lost the same amount of games but the Stingrays have an extra win under their belt which has boosted them up the ladder to 4th position, the Dragons put on a clinic last weekend with a winning margin or 46 points. You can’t sleep on the Dragons or they will make you pay!

Just like their 2017 SCW side Sunbury are going for 2 titles in 2 years in 2 different divisions, can they one up their SCW and go undefeated in the higher division, so far they are looking like the bench mark for all of the YL1W teams in 2018. Eltham have had a rocky start to their 2018 season, but they got theit first win last round and some new found confidence should hopefully follow. The Wildcats can be deadly when they are on and in sync with each other, but this week they will need to put in 200% if they want to put a stop to the Jets run for the title and show the Big V world they are not out for the count yet.

The Eagles are coming off a 46 point loss and will be looking to put that behind them and prove to one of the front condenders they are not that easy to beat, lets just hope it’s not a re-run of last round. Keilor will be out for redemption after dropping their first game last week against the undefeated Jets, they will show no mercy this match to make sure they work on all the things that went wrong for them last round, if the Eagles aren’t careful Keilor could push this out very quickly with their high scoring and physical style of play. Craigieburn could come out and surprise us all and knock the Thunder off if they are willing to do what it takes to get another win on the board.

There is a real gap starting to show, which side is your team on? Good luck to all teams.

Chelsea vs. McKinnon Sat 4pm Patterson River Stadium

Corio Bay vs. Camberwell Sat 5pm Geelong Basketball Netball Centre

Sunbury vs. Eltham Sat 6pm Boardman Stadium

Craigieburn vs. Keilor Sat 6pm Craigieburn Sports Stadium


Youth League Two Men

To kick off a big round of YL2M basketball, let’s begin with the ladder leaders and the team to beat, the Thoroughbreds. They have been an impressive side and since round 2, have notched up 4 straight wins. If circumstances were different, we would say they’d be in for a tough match coming up against the Pakenham Warriors. But this side hasn’t been the side we saw last year and with that being said, this Thoroughbreds side will take home win number 6.

The Gulls may have put 136 points on the board last week, but when they come up against the Eagles this weekend, they will be put to the test. This Eagles side are sitting just the one spot above the Gulls on the ladder and are stting with 4 straight wins to their name. They have taken some great wins over quality sides in the past few weeks and have every chance at doing this again against the Gulls.

Round 3 was a tough day at the office for the Energy, one they would be wanting to file away quick smart. But as they look ahead to this weekend, they have a further two games to contend with. The Saturday night sees them take on the Blues, a team that has been up and down as late. If the Energy were to get a win on the board this weekend, this would be the one to go for. This is due to who they are up against on the Sunday. If they found it tough to compete against the likes of the Gulls, we worry as to what damage the Eagles will do to them. We hope that last week was a learning curve for the young Energy and they won’t allow this to happen two weeks in a row.

The Maccabi Warriors will be put to the test this weekend, taking on two in form teams. On Saturday night they take on 2nd placed Keysborough who will be looking to get back to their winning ways. But as much as they want a win, the Warriors are wanting their 3rd straight. And even better than that, their 4th. Both sides have a number of players that can step up at any time making it hard to focus on just one. This game is going to go right down to the wire.

On Sunday afternoon, we think the Warriors are better placed to take the W. This is tough to say considering their opponent is last years runner’s up the All Stars. This All Stars side certainly hasn’t started off as strong or as imposing as we thought, but they have been consistent. This is yet another game we look forward to seeing the outcome of.

We don’t know what has happened to the Panthers over the last few weeks but they have really come to the party. In one weekend they notched up two wins and last week they only went down by 4 to a very good side. Coming into this weekend, they take on both the Breakers and the Blues, two very attainable wins for this side at the moment. The Breakers sit on the exact same record as the Panthers but with three straight losses to their name. They will want this to end here but they’ll have to work for it. As for the Blues on the Sunday, it will be both teams second game. If past games are anything to go by, the Panthers seem to enjoy two game weekends. Can they get two wins in the one weekend again?

The Pakenham Warriors have another tough game to contend with on the Sunday, taking on the Cougars at home. The Warriors may get them at a good time however, as the Cougars will be coming off their game against Maccabi. This is a hard game to pick a winner for as both teams are playing for a lot. No team wants to finish a weekend 0 and 2 but there is every possibility that this could be the case for one of them.

The clash against the Pacers and the Steelers will see one of them edge that little bit further ahead than the other. They are both sitting on the same record, 1 win to their name and both have also racked up a few losses in a row. This will be a great opportunity for one of them to break the mould.

Melton vs. Pakenham Sat 6pm Melton Indoor Recreation Centre

Chelsea vs. Craigieburn Sat 6pm Patterson River Stadium

Wallan vs. Mornington Sat 6pm RB Robson Stadium

Keysborough vs. Maccabi Sat 6pm Rowville Secondary College

Whittlesea vs. Western Port Sat 6.30pm Mill Park Basketball Stadium

Latrobe vs. Frankston Sat 7pm Latrobe Leisure Traralgon

Craigieburn vs. Latrobe Sun 12pm Craigieburn Sports Stadium

Maccabi vs. Collingwood Sun 1pm Bialik Stadium

Frankston vs. Wallan Sun 2pm Frankston Basketball Stadium

Pakenham vs. Keysborough Sun 4pm Cardinia Life


Youth League Two Women

Couple of blockbuster games throughout Round 5 has the excitement bubbling for the weekend and it all kicks off early on Saturday afternoon when Frankston travel to Southern Peninsula for a date with the Sharks. The undefeated (4-0) Sharks have been super as of late, while for the Blues this will be their fourth road game in the opening five fixtures! Despite Frankston being up and down to start the year, it looks as though they may just be starting to find their groove and this looks like a real test for Southern Penn. Kassie Boorer and Tori Jackson will be right there at the finish and this one proves to be one of those blockbusters aforementioned!

Western Port host Blackburn and the Vikes will be hoping their sharp-shooters in Isabella Nolen (54%FG), Amy Coen (37.5%FG) and Shannon Bone (35%FG) will all bring their hot shooting on the road. It’s been an up and down start for the Vikes, however the honourable loss to Southern Peninsula last week should put them in good stead for a bounce back victory. For the Steelers, it’ll be more of the same with their short line-up led by Brittany Suarjaya and Emma Findlay pacing the squad. Another good match-up here.

Sherbrooke host Whittlesea in a game that will have the Pacers start as short favourites. Despite not sitting with a terrific record, the Pacers have fallen just short to the Sharks as well as recording a top win over Frankston. With Chloe Villiva and Olivia Dalmau on song, the Pacers become quite a difficult team to handle! For the Suns, they’ll need Rachael Hurd and Zoe Haritos to fire, as well as to hold onto the ball much better than in weeks past.

Casey travel to Mornington looking to keep their undefeated start to the season rolling. The Breakers haven’t had a kind start to proceedings, however unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be getting any better shortly. Watch for Rebecca Jones, Steph Leclerc and Kim Shankland to have an influence in this one.

Finally, Pakenham and Werribee go toe-to-toe in the only Sunday game for the round out at Cardinia Life as the Warriors look to bounce back from their only loss of the year thus far. Both teams actually look quite evenly matched, in fact both have conceded the exact same amount of points in their opening four games. The negative for the Devils however, is that they are yet to win on the road this season, none out of their first two tries. Maybe this one breaks the duck off the back of players such as Taylah Lea and Alana Anthony. A Charlotte Vincent-Lord inclusion wouldn’t hurt either!

Southern Peninsula vs. Frankston Sat 4pm Hillview Stadium

Western Port vs. Blackburn Sat 5:30pm David Collins Indoor Stadium

Sherbrooke vs. Whittlesea Sat 6pm Belgrave Heights Christian School

Mornington vs. Casey Sat 6:30pm Mornington Basketball Stadium

Pakenham vs. Werribee Sun 2pm Cardinia Life

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