THE Finals Series kicks off on Saturday 4 August in the Big V, with several of the Mornington Peninsula sides still in the running for the championship trophies.
The Chelsea Gulls division one men’s side is one of them, having been low flying throughout this season.
The Gulls have put together 13 wins in-a-row after round 17, and have claimed 20 victories from their 23 matches.
Chelsea Gulls head coach Peter Caspersz is hoping that winning momentum can continue through to the finals.
“We’ve been flying,” he said. “But without getting ahead of ourselves we still need to put it together in the finals.”
“All the players – touch wood – are playing at their best with many of the players from the bench coming on to make a difference.”
Their successful run has taken away a lot of the pressure which the Gulls faced last season as they scrambled to make the cut for the finals.
The Gulls ended up making the grand final and finished runners-up last season, so they’ll be out to make amends this time around.
The Gulls sit comfortably at the top of the table and will enjoy a bye in the opening round of the series while the Westernport Steelers, who have also secured their spot and a home final, will be striving to jump into second spot.
Westernport Steelers Basketball operations manager, Tyler Molloy, said that it is still statistically possible for the side to snatch second and gain a bye in the opening week.
“Everything would need to fit perfectly for us to get second, though,” he said.
Molloy said that the side had a patch in the middle of the season which set them slightly behind but their form recently is giving them confidence heading into the finals.
“We lost our captain (Matt Pollard) a few weeks back with a torn Achilles, but everyone else seems to be in great form at the moment,” he said.
“Our import, Dylan Travis, has more or less locked up the scoring title for the season which is great to see, and he’s looking pretty good for the MVP award too.”
The Southern Peninsula Sharks division two men’s side have grabbed a home final following their dominant victory over Camberwell Dragons (69-52) in round 17, while their state championship women’s side, who have already secured a spot in the finals, will be looking to also grab a home final with a victory in round 18 against seventh-placed, Keilor Thunder.
However, Southern Peninsula Sharks basketball operations manager, Lucas Allen, said that the women’s victory in round 18 won’t necessarily guarantee them the home game.
“Hume City (fourth) would still need to lose for the women to move into fourth place and get the home final,” he said.
“If they do get the home final they will play them (Hume City) again. They were narrowly beaten by them [in round 17] but I think they certainly have a good opportunity to turn it around and grab that win.”
For the men, they have had just the one loss in their past six games, with Allen putting that down to injuries.
“Their loss against Coburg came on the back of their fourth game in two weekends,” he said.
“That does take it out of the players and the injuries probably took its toll. If everything goes right [through the finals] then we will see them (Coburg) in the second round.”