Braves season on line

LESS talk, more action.

That's the theme for Bendigo Bank Braves coach Ben Harvey this week as his side plays for its season in Mount Gambier on Friday night.

A victory over the SEABL title favourite Pioneers will give the Braves a chance of making the play-offs.

ILLNESS: Braves centre Zach Atkinson has missed training this week because of the flu. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN

ILLNESS: Braves centre Zach Atkinson has missed training this week because of the flu. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN

A defeat will see the Braves miss the finals and the long bus trip back from Mount Gambier will be extended by a couple of beverage stops.

"I'm sick of talking about it to be honest,'' Harvey said of the Braves' play-off hopes.

"We just have to control what we can control and get on court and play hard.

"This is it. Last chance for the team and I'd like to think everyone wants to give it everything they've got."

The Braves preparation for Friday night has been hampered by illness to starting centre Zach Atkinson and point guard Kevin Probert.

"Zach and Kevin have both had the flu all week,'' Harvey said.

"They'll both play, but it hasn't been an ideal week."

The Braves come up against a Mount Gambier side that has lost just four games this season.

The Pioneers are unbeaten on their home court and they defeated the Braves by eight points in Bendigo in round four.

"They're a very good basketball team,'' Harvey said of the Pioneers.

"For us to win it has to start at the defensive end. We have to do a good job of containing our opponents.

"Offensively, we've struggled to score in recent weeks, so the challenge for me is to find a group who is going to get it done for us."

Should the Braves defeat the Pioneers, they'd also need Frankston to lose at least one of its two games in Tasmania this weekend and for Sandringham to lose to east conference leader Dandenong.

The Lady Braves, who have the bye this weekend, are certain to finish in the top two on the women's south conference ladder.

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