Murtoa Railway and the Piccolo Nuggets are the favourites to fight out for the “C” grade Lightning Spike Challenge after finishing on top of their respective pools.
The Murtoa team have proved unstoppable and went through their two rounds undefeated, while the Piccolo Nuggets dropped just one game during the regular season and finished on top of the ladder on percentages ahead of the Von Steiger Shadows in Pool B.
While the teams finishing top of the ladder will get the advantage of progressing straight through to the quarter-finals, the teams below them will be keenly fighting for the right to be contenders, and considering their good form in the second round, there should some thrilling encounters.
The Pringles boys are clear proof of this.
They had the Murtoa team on the ropes leading 39-36 with two minutes left on the clock, but just couldn’t deliver the killer blow to finish off their rivals.
The Murtoa team stormed home to claim a 44-41 victory.
Another team that will fancy its chances will be the Murtoa Lizards.
They drew with the Pringles 36-36 and were right in the game against the Railway team.
They will have gained a lot of confidence from this result, and after going back and watching the recording of the game, they will have learned plenty to take with them into the upcoming finals.
The Von Steiger Shadows have improved as each game goes by, and with the introduction of Frank Sweet to their team, they look a much more formidable outfit.
With the shortened format of two 12-minute halves, along with the modified scoring for service aces and kill blocks, all teams are finding they can score quickly when they get on a roll, and are never out of the contest.
With the same intensity and fast play, coupled with finals-like atmosphere anything could happen and upsets could be on the cards.
Finals will be Monday fortnight while “A” and “B” grade play May 30.