ANOTHER bumper weekend awaits us across the Country Basketball League with a monumental one vs two battles set to tip off in the South West.
SOUTH WEST MEN
In this top of the table battle, competition heavyweights Mt Gambier and Bellarine will put up a red-hot contest over the border. It tips on Saturday night as both teams enter the game with a perfect record and aim to keep things going that way. Mt Gambier will have the home team advantage and a number of home-town weapons at its disposal, including up-and-coming star Lachlan Hunter and evergreen star Kane de Wit. However with Bellarine’s impressive two wins last weekend, led by a barrage from Josiah King and Ash Cannan on Sunday, this is one not to miss.
Ararat looks to come back after three straight losses with a better outing this weekend against Colac.
With an excellent win last week, CBL debutants Bacchus Marsh aim to maintain their top-4 ladder position and keep up the energy heading into the second month of their inaugural season.
Ararat Redbacks (8) vs Colac Kookas (9)
Mt Gambier Lakers (1) vs Bellarine Storm (2)
Bacchus Marsh Lions (4) vs Terang Tornadoes (6)
Horsham Hornets (3) vs Hamilton Hurricanes (11)
Portland Coasters (7) vs Geelong Supercats (5)
Ararat Redbacks (8) vs Portland Coasters (7)
Terang Tornadoes (6) vs Geelong Supercats (5)
SOUTH WEST WOMEN
Millicent Magic looks to add onto its potent start to the CBL season with their double-header at home this weekend against Bellarine and Portland. Geelong will look to defuse Portland’s perfect streak so far. Alana Strom, Kayla Pickert and Taylah Nelson have been on fire to start the season as the Coasters have picked up the scalps of Horsham, Warrnambool and Terang. That said they’re going into unchartered waters against fancied sides like Geelong and Millicent, so time will tell who can keep a hold of top spot in this highly-competitive conference.
Terang has a massive task ahead with two games against Horsham and Geelong and will attempt to end its losing streak. The Tornadoes have two bites of the cherry when they travel to battle Horsham before hosting Geelong on Sunday.
Horsham Lady Hornets (2) vs Terang Tornadoes (7)
Portland Coasters (1) vs Geelong Supercats (4)
Millicent Magic (5) vs Bellarine Storm (6)
Terang Tornadoes (7) vs Geelong Supercats (4)
Millicent Magic (5) vs Portland Coasters (1)
With their impressive win over Moe in round 4, the Churchill Blue Devils are looking to climb up the table with home clashes against Warragul and Bairnsdale this weekend. Warragul won’t be an easy task by any means – with Jarrod Castle, Murray Myers and Dwain Scott all in good form – but Churchill needs to start stringing some wins together as it attempts to defend its 2017/18 title and its status at the top of the conference. Robert and Nicholas Michaelides have surged to start the season and the side’s evenness across the board will hold it in good standing.
Moe Meteors have an opportunity to bounce back after their first loss of the season in round 4. Western Port will be out for win number two when they host the Meteors and will need to put some decent perimeter pressure on Nick Sedley, who has enjoyed life on the outside with 12 treys to his name so far.
Churchill Blue Devils (5) vs Warragul Warriors (1)
Western Port Steelers (6) vs Moe Meteors (2)
Churchill Blue Devils (5) vs Bairnsdale Bullets (9)
After a disappointing start to the season, Moe secured its first win last week and will attempt to maintain momentum against Maffra. Even without All Star Carly Mullen-Bianconi, the Meteors shot through the stratosphere to deliver the maiden win of the year. Can they replicate it though? The Eagles will be out to secure second spot on the ladder with a win, as Coco Henry and Jennifer Wrigglesworth have carved up the opposition throughout the start of the season. But this is a critical juncture as a loss forces the Eagles back towards the chasing pack heading towards the Christmas break.
Maffra Eagles (2) vs Moe Meteors (5)
NORTH EAST MEN
Myrtleford vs Seymour is definitely one to watch as Seymour looks to build on its impressive winning streak, while Myrtleford will be determined to bounce back after their first loss of the season in round 4. The Saints have surged early in 2018/19 through the likes of Jackson Townsend and Marcus Laspina, who have stepped up to fill the void left by Jalen Brown heading off to college. But the Blasters will always be a top gun in the conference and this year is no exception. Myrtleford has a few guns to silence as Seymour already has shown some plenty impressive versatility and depth. But if you want to be the man you have to beat the man so this one will be worth the price on the door and then some.
Shepparton will chase top spot with its clash against Wallan. The Panthers have been close a lot this year and sit mid-table.
Myrtleford Saints (3) vs Seymour Blasters (1)
Shepparton Gators (2) vs Wallan Panthers (5)
NORTH EAST WOMEN
Bendigo Braves will aim to solidify their top of the ladder status in a fairly interesting clash against Maryborough. The Blazers earned an impressive win over Swan Hill last week while they were also downed by Myrtleford.
With a win against Kyneton this week, Shepparton will look to jump up the table, but don’t discount the home side too fast. Rebecca Van Kuyk and Michelle Fletcher have been up and about as the Tigers look to stitch some wins together.
Bendigo Braves (1) vs Maryborough Blazers (4)
Kyneton Tigers (3) vs Shepparton Lady Gators (7)
NORTH WEST MEN
The weekend kicks off with the game Bendigo vs Maryborough who after a giant win over Swan Hill, will aim to carry their momentum into this game. With five straight losses to start the season, Swan Hill is out to break their drought and seek some redemption when they battle Castlemaine on Sunday.
Bendigo Braves (5) vs Maryborough Blazers (1)
Swan Hill Flyers (7) vs Castlemaine Cannons (3)