Grand final losses steel Bendigo Braves veterans

Chris Hogan in action against Mount Gambier..

Chris Hogan in action against Mount Gambier..

PAST grand final defeats will be a driving force for Bendigo Braves co-captains Chris Hogan and Taylor Bell when they take to the court against Mount Gambier Pioneers on Saturday night.

The Braves are 0-3 in championship game splayed over the last eight seasons, with the veteran pair a part of all three.

Hogan, who is enjoying a standout season with 11.2 points per game and 4.9 rebounds, said he was as determined as ever to get one back on the championship ledger.

"That's why I am still playing," he said.

"We want to win, that's why we play and why we play at this level.

"We do it because it's good fun, but winning's also good fun.

"For the guys lie who have been around a very long time like Taylor and myself and (coach) Ben Harvey, it's what we want."

While the Braves needed overtime to get over the top of the Nunawading Spectres in their east conference grand final, Hogan believed battle had steeled the playing group for one more huge effort in a dominant season that brought 23 wins and just three losses.

Chris Hogan celebrates the Braves' east conference grand final win with daughter Grace. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

Chris Hogan celebrates the Braves' east conference grand final win with daughter Grace. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

He backed point guard and defensive player of the year candidate Kevin White to quell the influence of key Pioneers playmaker Tom Daly (14.3ppg and 3.4 assist).

"Kevin did a sensational job last week on Shane McDonald and has done so all season on the point guards," he said.

"Tom Daly is the engine that drives Mount Gambier and I'm sure Kevin will do his darndest to ensure Tom has as little impact as possible.

"A lot of their stuff starts from there and I think we have the better of that  match-up."

Tyrone Lee contributed 26 points and 11 rebounds last five Pioneers’ players hit double figures in their south conference grand final win over Hobart Chargers.

The grand final rivals have a win apiece in games played this season, the Braves winning the most recent clash 69-63 at Bendigo Stadium.

The Pioneers won a round two encounter in Mount Gambier 95.86.

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