WITH finals just around the corner for the Victorian Junior Basketball League (VJBL)’s Under 18 Boys competition, Friday night’s clash between the Nunawading Spectres and the Ballarat Miners at Nunawading Basketball Centre holds plenty of significance in shaping the postseason.
Both sides have been strong throughout much of the 2022 season, and will be looking to go as far as possible in the upcoming finals series. The Spectres have been better for longer, and the standings currently show that, but the Miners will have plenty to play for on Friday.
The ladder is far from cemented with just two weeks of play remaining, and both sides will be eager to give themselves the best possible chance in the postseason fixture, so there will be no shortage of motivation in this game.
Nunawading Spectres vs. Ballarat Miners
Friday, August 12 @ 9:40pm
Nunawading Basketball Centre
The Spectres have barely faulted since the competition restructured to form the VC Championship division and they were faced with the toughest opponents the league has to offer. With a record of six wins and one loss in the first seven rounds, they have not done much wrong and looked primed to have a genuine crack at the title in the coming weeks. They also boast the best percentage in the competition, showing that most of their wins have come in convincing fashion and they can meticulously take apart their opposition on a weekly basis.
Ballarat will likely prove a strong challenge on Friday night, but the Spectres will come into the game tipped to get the chocolates. Last week, they took down the Boomers to the tune of 16 points, and if a similar output is delivered tomorrow night, it will go a long way towards Nunawading walking away with a win. One of their biggest strengths is how balanced their scoring can be on any given week, and that was demonstrated last round, where they had four players score in double-digits, so that will be a key factor in their game against the Miners.
The Miners are still entrenched in a battle for a spot inside the top-four come season’s end, currently sitting in fourth on the ladder with a couple of weeks remaining. They are in the box seat to hold on to that position, but they face a tough matchup in the Spectres this week, and with three other sides trailing by just percentage, nothing is certain. Claiming an upset tomorrow night would be massive for their prospects moving forward, but they will need to bring their best. They were excellent in last week’s win over Casey, and will be keen to repeat that effort. Keep an eye on Ned Renfree, who has been the team’s most damaging offensive player all year.