Nunawading Spectres (17-5) v Hobart Chargers (17-5)
State Basketball Centre, 8.00pm Saturday, August 18
After a week’s rest, the Hobart Chargers started the Preliminary Final at a blistering pace and led the Supercats 22-18 at quarter-time. They unfortunately couldn’t keep the same intensity in the second quarter and were outscored 8-21 but a gallant fightback in the second half saw the Chargers secure their position in the Grand Final. With two post-season victories, the Chargers head into the Grand final on a nine-game winning streak.
Nunawading also had a slow start in their Preliminary Final against local rivals Kilsyth, trailing by 23 points late in the second quarter. A vintage performance from 2017 MVP Simon Conn carried the Spectres to the victory though after restricting the Cobras to six points in the third term. Nunawading are currently on a five-game winning streak themselves and should have a large crowd of supporters at the Grand Final on Saturday night.
Nunawading – Tom Wright has struggled in both games this season against his former club and after a quiet game last week against Kilsyth, he will be determined for an improved performance this week. After successfully shutting down Isaac Turner in the Preliminary Final, Wright will likely be required to shut down Chargers sharp-shooter Tre Nichols in a potential game-defining battle.
Hobart – Tiri Masunda sung the national anthem pre-game in the Preliminary final, inspiring his team mates to a 13-2 run to open the game. Nichols has been a sensation all season for the Chargers and will be expected to produce again this week but it could be the production from Masunda and another inspirational performance that could help the Chargers clinch the 2018 title. The veteran will likely have to defend Spectres All-SEABL second team member Tom Wright as well with his work at the defensive end just as important to Hobart’s chances.
Previous Meetings This Year
Round 7: Round 9:
Nunawading 97 def. Hobart 93 Hobart 86 def. Nunawading 82
@ Nunawading Stadium @ Derwent Entertainment Centre
The Chargers rely heavily on Moller, Nichols and Muo and this was evident in last week’s Preliminary Final with the trio scoring 59 of the Chargers 86 points. Last week, the Spectres defence in the second half against Kilsyth was impressive, limiting them to just 22 points and if they bring that hard-nosed defence this week against the big three of Hobart, Nunawading could run away with the victory. Home court advantage has been the only difference in the previous match-ups this season and with the State Basketball centre only ten minutes from Nunawading Stadium, the Spectres will have a large supporter base to give them another advantage.
Points Rebounds Assists
Nunawading Wright 19.9 Conn 9.8 McDonald 6.3
Hobart Nichols 25.0 Moller 12.0 Nichols 5.3