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MEN’S ELIMINATION FINALS PREVIEW
Friday, July 27, 2018

First Elimination Final

Geelong Supercats (13-7) v N W Tasmania Thunder (10-10), AWA Alliance Bank Stadium, 7.00pm Saturday, July 28

Form

Finishing the regular season with two consecutive losses, NW Tasmania Thunder were shocked to find out they had clinched the last finals berth for 2018.  The team is extremely lucking that other teams lost crucial games, as the Thunder lost 5 of their final 7 games. But an impressive head to head record against Dandenong and Mt Gambier helped them grab the 8th and final spot.  Geelong on the other hand have won 7 of their last 8 games and are one of the in form teams of the competition.  A loss to Ballarat early in the season meant they dropped to fifth and a lost the second chance in the finals.

X-Factor

Geelong

Nathan Herbert – Having already announced his retirement, every game from now on could be his last.  Nathan has been one of the leagues’ all-time great players, and he is still producing high quality numbers in his 16th season.  Nathan has been known to produce big numbers in finals and will be hoping to finish his career with a Championships and therefore determined on guiding the Supercats to a win this week.

N W Tasmania

Lachlan Barker – Known for his outside shooting, Lachlan will need to be at his best this week.  Barker scored 18 points in the round five contest with Geelong, and will need to produce another fine effort this week to help his team.

Previous Meetings This Year

Round 5:

N W Tasmania 96 def. Geelong Supercats 78

@ Devonport Stadium

Overall:

Geelong have a 7-3 record at home this season, but will be playing their first game at the AWA Alliance Bank Stadium.  Geelong have great attendance numbers all season, and despite playing in a smaller arena the noise and atmosphere in the stadium will be electric and could be the deciding factor in the games’ outcome.  NW Tasmania have struggled on the road all season, but have performed well in recent finals series.  If big names Darcy Malone, Jeremiah Ingram and Paul Campbell can stay out of foul trouble, the Thunder can record the upset.

                                         Points                 Rebounds              Assists

Geelong                        Davis 20.9            Davis 11.1                  Luxford 3.9

N W Tasmania            Bragg 16.5           Campbell 7.1             Bragg 5.7

 

Second Qualifying Final

Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence (11-9) v Bendigo Braves (11-9), AIS Training Hall, 7.00pm Saturday, July 28

Form

BACOE have lost 4 of their last 7 games, but have defeated Bendigo twice this season.  BACOE have a wealth of players to choose from on a weekly basis, but have lost many key players to US Scholarships.  The boys will have had a week of rest after a tough long week participating in the NBA prospects game.

Bendigo have had a very inconsistent season, and have struggled in recent weeks losing four of the last six games in the regular season and dropping from 5th to 7th.

X-Factor

BA CoE

Daniel Grida – Grida has been the consistent performer for the BACOE all season long, and he will need to produce a solid effort again this week against a talented and highly experienced Bendigo line-up.

Bendigo

Ray Turner – After an outstanding season start, Turner was in contention for league MVP honours after six rounds but has struggled in the past month.  His production has dropped, and this has reflected in the Braves recent run of losses.  A lot is expected of imports Turner and Kendle, and both need to produce high quality games for the team to be successful.

Previous Meetings This Year

Round 5:                                                                   Round 7:

BA CoE 87 def. Bendigo Braves 91                      BA CoE 86 def. Bendigo Braves 75

@ AIS Training Hall                                               @ Bendigo Stadium 

Overall:

Alex Mudronja, who was a standout performer in the BACOE two wins over Bendigo this year is no longer with the program, therefore the team must rely on talented youngsters Kyle Bowen and Alex Ducas to keep the scoreboard ticking.  BACOE averaged 84 points a game this season and they will need to have another quality scoring performance as the Braves have two talented imports. Both Jeremy Kendle and Ray Turner are capable of winning a game with their own individual performance.

                           Points                                            Rebounds                            Assists

Bendigo          Kendle 23.6                                      Turner 11.1                               Kendle 5.3

BA CoE            Mudronja & Grida 15.6                  Bowen & Froling 7.3              Lee 3.4