HOBART Chargers are in red-hot form and look like no chance of slowing down any time soon. The Tasmanian team sits atop of the National Basketball League (NBL)1 South Men’s table with a two-win gap on their nearest rival. Though competing in a predominantly Victorian competition – all bar three of the teams hail from the state – the top two are from interstate with the Chargers and second placed Mt Gambier Pioneers leading the way.
Hobart Chargers are on a nine-game winning streak, and have not dropped a match since going down to the Basketball Centre of Excellence as part of the Wildcard Series on June 4. Looking at the NBL1 South exclusively, the Chargers last tasted defeat by nine points against Ringwood Hawks back on May 20. That day, Harry Froling still managed 30 points, but just the five rebounds and two assists, as Ole Angerstein put up a double-double of 15 points and 12 rebounds.
Counting just the NBL1 South matches, it means the Chargers are up to 11 straight victories in the competition, which considering they had begun with a 3-3 record, speaks volumes of what they have been able to produce. In the most recent Round 12, Hobart Chargers won back-to-back matches on the Apple Isle, defeating Diamond Valley Eagles by 29 points on Friday night, then rolling the Knox Raiders on Saturday night. In those matches, Froling picked up 29 points and 15 rebounds, then 32 and 11, to average a massive 30.5 points and 13 rebounds across the weekend. Angerstein had a quieter couple of games with a combined 23 points and nine rebounds, but Jarred Bairstow managed 19 points and 22 rebounds.
Hobart Chargers hit the ton in both their games, making it the second and third time this season the Tasmanian outfit has achieved that feat. There are just five games left in the season, with the Chargers set to do the double again in Round 13, albeit on the road this time up against the Geelong Supercats and Bendigo Braves. A five-day break until a home match against the Waverley Falcons triggers threes successive Friday nights at home, with Sandringham Sabres on August 5, before wrapping up the regular season with an all-Tasmanian battle against the North West Tasmania Thunder.
As it stands, Hobart has a 14-3 win-loss record and cannot realistically drop outside the top four without a serious derailment. One win will ensure they can secure a top four spot, but victories in three of the last five will ultimately mean they finish on top of the table. Given their 11-game winning streak, the Chargers are looking the goods to be the NBL1 South Men’s title favourites this season.