After just making it into the pointy end of the season in eighth position, the Bendigo Braves men will play in next Saturday's NBL1 grand final.
The Braves defeated the Frankston Blues by 18 points to secure their spot in the 2019 Championship match against fellow preliminary final winners the Nunawading Spectres.
The Braves never threw in the towel and led at each quarter over the Blues, increasing the margin at each break.
In the first quarter neither team let the other take any major advantage, with the Braves taking a minor one-point lead at the break.
At the start of the second quarter the Braves came out firing on all cylinders with a 9-1 run to take a lead over the Blues, quickly silencing the once energetic Frankston crowd.
An eight-point contribution from Deonte Burton and some slick three-pointers from Daniel Hansen boosted the Braves' lead to 14 going into the half-time break.
After a more than convincing first-half to the game, the Braves kept their momentum throughout the third quarter.
Braves' Mathiang Muo relished the moment and secured a nifty seven points to open up the quarter, with the team climbing to a 17-point lead by around halfway through the term.
The scoring went back and forth for the remainder of the quarter, with the Braves ahead by 17 points going into the final break.
In the final quarter, with a spot in the NBL1 Championship game on the line, both teams put up a hard-fought effort up until the very end.
The teams put up a combined 49 points to the scoreboard, but it was the Braves who were victorious with an 18-point lead on the final buzzer.
Mathiang Muo top scored with 25 points at a 75 per cent two-point shooting average and a 77 per cent free-throw shooting average combined with seven rebounds.
Deonte Burton finished with 16 points and eight rebounds, and Ray Turner had 16 points and 13 rebounds to secure a double-double.
Preparations now begin for the championship match next weekend against the Spectres who defeated the Ballarat Miners 75-68 for their spot in the 2019 grand final.
The NBL1 Championship match between the Braves and the Spectres will be played on Saturday August 17 at the State Basketball Centre in Wantirna South, tip-off at 8pm.
Meanwhile, the Bendigo Braves women have missed out on a spot in the grand final after a narrow three-point loss to the Geelong Supercats, final scores 83-80.
The Supercats started the game with high intensity and kept the momentum flowing to see the Braves trail on their heels for majority of the match at the Geelong Arena.
The hosts held a seven-point lead at the first break, which they were only able to extend to eight in a closely contested second quarter.
There was still hope for the Braves at the end of the third quarter, with only 12-points between the teams, but the Supercats had no plans to concede on their home court.
The Braves kicked off the final quarter with a late-minute charge to get within only eight points of the Supercats, and then down to five at approximately half-way through the term.
In the dying minutes the Braves came within three points, but it was all too late.
Becca Tobin top scored with 23 points and 20 rebounds and four steals to secure a double-double.
Kelly Wilson also notched a double-double with 16 points, 12 assists and two steals.
Tessa Lavey also made a strong contribution with 17 points, three rebounds and four assists.
The Braves had very few answers for the shooting power of the Supercats' Zitina Aokuso, Sara Blicavs, Ezi Magbegor and Jazmin Shelley.
The Supercats will now play the Kilsyth Cobras in next weekend's NBL1 Women's Championship match on August 17 at the State Basketball Centre in Wantirna South, tip-off at 5pm.
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