Saturday – 29 July 2017
The night before the Thunder tackle Ballarat, they visit Bendigo in another very important game for both clubs playoff chances.
Bendigo simply must win to keep their hopes of defending their 2016 Championship alive and if they sweep Round 17 and 18, third place is still an option. However, if N/W Tasmania can repeat their Round 6 performance when they were three-point victors, they will knock Bendigo out of contention and officially book their own spot.
Game of The Week – Ballarat v N/W Tall Timbers Thunder
Sunday – 30 July 2017
Several games will shape the East and South Conference this weekend as we hit the business end of the season and this clash between Ballarat and N/W Tasmania is one of the key match-ups.
Sitting third and fourth in the South respectively coming into this weekend, the Miners and Thunder are still not assured of a playoff spot but a win in this contest will go a long way to cementing their place.
The home side are struggling for consistency in recent weeks but that has been partly due to a disrupted line-up with some players featuring in NBL exhibition games before their season starts.
Ballarat should welcome back Peter Hooley and Craig Moller this weekend though to give them a full roster but they could not help them in Round 10 when the Miners fell to N/W Tasmania by seven points.
Four Thunder players hit double-figures in that contest with Daniel Sepokas and Jeremiah Ingram recording double-doubles while Ahmad Starks led all scorers with 30 points.
That victory could come in handy down the track as N/W Tasmania can fall by six points or less on Sunday afternoon and still claim the head-to-head over Ballarat which would propel them into the top four should they finish on the same record.
Both sides will be coming into this match-up on the second night of a double-header but back at home where they are 9-1, the Miners should back themselves.
With so much on the line, expect a high-octane, fast-paced game to round out the weekend.
Prediction: Ballarat by 2.