Preliminary Final – Frankston v Bendigo Recap
Bendigo has come away from the Frankston Basketball Stadium with an 85-67 victory, eliminating Frankston and advancing to the NBL1 Grand Final.
The two clubs went back and forth from the tip off, with neither side able to gain any significant advantage in the opening stanza.
Frankston’s Igor Hadziomerovic didn’t take long to heat up, scoring 8 first-quarter points on the back of two made three-pointers.
But the Blues’ fire-starter was matched by Bendigo’s Chris Hogan who dropped in two deep balls of his own in the period, while Ray Turner started a perfect 3-3 from the field to give the Braves a narrow 21-20 lead at the first change.
The away side came out of the break and punched Frankston in the nose with a 9-1 run to start the second quarter, opening up a nine-point lead and forcing the Blues coaching staff into a quick timeout as the home crowd began to grow restless.
Deonte Burton scored eight points in the term, while Daniel Hansen chimed in with two deep balls as Bendigo opened up the gap to 14 points at the half time buzzer.
After a devastating second quarter the Braves could smell blood, and they didn’t let up in the third. Mathiang Muo became a serious problem for the Blues, scoring seven points in a minute-and-a-half of game time as Bendigo stretched the score to 53-36 by the 5:47 mark.
Burton continued to add to his tally, as the two clubs traded scores to head into the final break with a 60-43 scoreline.
With the result a foregone conclusion both sides let it fly in the fourth, pouring in a combined 49 points in the period, as the Braves cruised home to an 18-point victory.
Muo (25 PTS, 7 REBS) was enormous for the Braves, while Turner recorded a 16-point, 13-rebound double-double.
Bendigo will prepare to face Nunawading in the decider, after the Spectres defeated Ballarat 75-68.