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MEN’S PRELIMINARY FINALS PREVIEW
Friday, August 10, 2018

FIRST PRELIMINARY FINAL

Hobart Chargers (16-5) v Geelong Supercats (15-7)

Derwent Entertainment Centre, 7.30pm Friday, August 10

Form

Geelong are red hot and in blistering form, having secured their 5th consecutive victory in last week’s semi-final against Ballarat. Geelong have produced an outstanding 11-4 record since losing to Hobart in round five.

The Chargers earnt this important home game after an exciting road victory over Kilsyth in the qualifying final and will be determined to put on a great show for their devoted fans.  Hobart are currently on an eight-game winning streak and have an impressive 8-2 record at home this season.

X-Factor

Hobart: BJ Radcliffe has been a consistent performer for the Chargers all season, but often overlooked by opposition teams as a threat due to the impact Muo, Moller and Nichols have each game.  Despite only averaging 3.4 points this season, Radcliffe is a solid veteran of the league and if left open can score large numbers.

Geelong: Nathan Herbert announced his retirement weeks ago, but is determined to end his career with a championship ring.  Still playing high quality basketball and averaging 18 points and 4 rebounds, Nathan has the ability to carry his beloved Supercats team to victory this week.  A deadly three-pointer shooter, and a quality athlete that will need to produce his best for the Supercats this week.

Previous Meetings This Year

Round 5:

Hobart 92 def. Geelong 86

@ Derwent Entertainment Centre

Overall:

Despite losing to the Chargers in round five, the Supercats have been playing exceptional basketball and will be confident of securing an upset victory.  Import duo John Davis and DeMarcus Gatlin are combining well on the offensive end and their athleticism may trouble the Chargers this week. Both did not produce great games in round five but are currently in great form and capable of taking over a game if given the opportunity.

Hobart will have over 3000 home court supporters cheering their every move in this do or die game, and this could be the fire the team need after a week break.  The Chargers trio of Muo, Moller and Nichols average 71% of the Chargers score this season and a vital component to the team’s success.  If they are allowed to dominate as a trio once again the Chargers are sure to secure the win and make it to the clubs first SEABL Championship game since 2008.

                                         Points                 Rebounds              Assists

Hobart                          Moller 23.6           Moller 12.1               Nichols 5.2

Geelong                         Herbert 18.0        Davis 11.0                Luxford 4.0

 

SECOND PRELIMINARY FINAL

Nunawading Spectres (16-5) v Kilsyth Cobras (16-6)

Nunawading Stadium, 6.30pm Saturday, August 11

Form

After a disappointing home loss in week one of finals to Hobart, the Kilsyth Cobras returned to the winners’ circle with a clinical performance against Bendigo last week to keep their championship dreams alive.  Since start of July the Cobras have a 4-3 record and need to find their early season form that helped them secure an 8-1 start to the season in the first seven rounds.

Nunawading have many older players in the team and the overtime victory against Ballarat in week one gave the Spectres an opportunity to rest and rejuvenate.  Nunawading finished the regular season with a 7-2 record and have a 9-2 record at home this season.

X-Factor

Nunawading: Dain Swetella missed seven games late in the season due to injury, but was a solid contributor in the Spectres round eight victory with 18 points and six rebounds.  If he can produce another solid game and keep Cobras big men Patton, Pineau and Owilli off the glass, the Spectres could secure the win.

Kilsyth: Felix Von Hofe has provided quality numbers off the bench all season, and has scored 20+ points on six occasions already this season.  A quality three pointer shooter with the ability to slash to the basket, his talents could trouble the Spectres.

Previous Meetings This Year

Round 8:

Nunawading 97 def. Kilsyth 75

@ Kilsyth Sports Centre

Overall:

Chris Patton and Issac Turner were the only big scoring contributors in the Cobras loss in round eight, therefore coach Justin Schueller will need an improved performance from youngsters Dane Pineau, Felix Von Hofe and Sam Daly.  All three players will need to lift their productivity for the Cobras to secure the win and earn a place in next week’s Grand Final.

Nunawading defeated the Cobras on the road in round and will be confident of producing another victory this week, fresh after a bye last week. It gave an opportunity for McDonald and Swetella to rest as both players missed a large portion of games at the back part of the season.  The Spectres have a very experienced line-up all with a number of finals games experience, and the opportunity to play at home in front of their home crowd supporters is sure to spur them onto victory.

                                         Points                 Rebounds              Assists

Nunawading               Wright 20.3          Conn 9.5                  McDonald 6.1

Kilsyth                           Turner 19.9          Pineau 8.8               Patton 3.4