THE Bendigo Braves men have marched into a preliminary final showdown against Frankston Blues next Saturday night, after claiming their second-straight impressive finals scalp.
Led by a commanding performance from certain NBL1 most valuable player candidate Ray Turner, the Braves downed Kilsyth Cobras on their home court 115-104.
Turner ended the semi-final contest with an imposing 37 points and 12 rebounds in one of his best ever outings in the blue and yellow, in a two-season stint filled with match-winning efforts.
The Braves, who finished the regular season in eighth spot and clinched the final playoff spot with a final round win over Geelong Supercats, set up an astonishing victory with a blistering 33-18 opening term.
Kilsyth was able to strike back in the second term to reduce the margin by five points at half-time, but the Braves, with Deonte Burton playing a sustained second-half role, quickly reasserted their authority in a 25-18 third term to effectively seal the game.
The Cobras, led by Issac Turner, piled on the pressure in the closing minutes, but were unable to get any closer than 11 points by game's end.
A high-scoring win was aided by a pair of 24-point games from Burton and mathiang Muo.
Burton also hauled in an equal game-high 12 rebounds, while Daniel Hansen stepped up for the Braves with 15 points, six rebounds and five assists.
The winner of the Braves-Blues clash will meet either Ballarat Miners or Nunawading Spectres in the grand final.
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