The following previews were written by FDBA staff member and current university student (Bachelor of Sports Media) Dylan Smith.

His thoughts and opinions may not be shared by the FDBA Front Office.

Monday Men A

When: Monday, 29th of March – 7:00pm

Where: Frankston Basketball Stadium – Court 1

Who: Vikings vs Titans

Last time they met: Vikings-60 defeat Titans-47

Both teams roll into the Grand Final with identical records at six wins and three losses apiece, percentage being the only factor that could split the pair and the Titans claiming the minor premiership.

The Vikings come into the grand final looking very strong, winning four out of their last five contests, including two wins over the Titans, one of which in the qualifying final a fortnight ago.

At this stage it appears the Vikings leading scorer Ben Perry (18.2 per game) will be unavailable to play and Luke Bennet (14.1 per game) will need to step up in his absence.

The Titans had a dog fight last week, coming out three point victors against Fish On.

New recruit Tom Moscrop came up big in the preliminary final win, scoring 23 points which helped them secure a spot in the grand final.

During the season, the Titans have relied heavily on Luke Svensson (12.8 per game).

It will be intriguing to see if he can step up in the biggest game of the season after scoring only 8 points in their last meeting.

This game will be won on the defensive end, the Vikings concede 44.1 points per game, conversely, the Titans allow just 41.8.

If the Titans want a shot at winning this game, they will need to stop Luke Bennett who had 22 points in their last meeting.

For the Titans to win, they will have to lean heavily on Tom Moscrop, who over the past 4 games has averaged 13 points per game.

Prediction: Vikings by 4

Monday Men B

When: Monday, 29th of March – 8:00pm

Where: Frankston Basketball Stadium – Court 1

Who: The Brick Layers vs AY LMAO

Last time they met: AY LMAO 45 defeat The Brick Layers 39

The Brick Layers come into the grand final with seven wins and two losses, this record is not surprising after Daniel Hardt’s season where he averaged 11.3 points per game.

AY LMAO are coming off a great season of their own, finishing with a record of six wins and three losses thanks to great performances week in and week out from Jeremy Bunawan (12.7 points per game).

AY LMAO have clawed their way to grand final the hard way, finishing in 4th position and will have beaten all of the other top four teams if they win on Monday night.

The Brick Layers may enter into this game with some slight doubts as AY LMAO were one of two teams to defeat them this season.

In their previous matchup Bunawan was lights out, knocking down seven three-pointers in an emphatic win.

Not only will the Bricklayers need to rely on the Hardt brothers, but they will also look to involve Blake Thomson as he is a threat to score both inside and out, leading the scoring against AY LMAO in their last outing with 12 points.

This game will be an old style shoot out, both teams very capable of knocking down the three-ball, it’s likely that Monday night’s game will be decided by who out of Hardt and Bunawan makes more threes for their respective sides.

Prediction: AY LMAO by 3

Monday Men C1

When: Monday, 29th of March – 9:00pm

Where: Frankston Basketball Stadium – Court 1

Who: Heat Cheque vs Steph’s Chefs

Last time they met: Steph’s Chefs-47 defeat Heat Cheque-43

After pouring in 61 points in last week’s intense five-point victory against the Vipers, Steph’s Chefs have a date with Heat Cheque in the grand final.

The league’s best offence (47.7 points per game) led by Max Peters (14.3 per game) will be looking to cap off a brilliant season, after the Chef’s won seven games from nine regular season appearances.

This will be no easy task against Heat Cheque, who boast the best defence in the competition, stifling their opponents to less than 33 points per game across the season.

Interestingly, Heat Cheque’s only loss this season has come at the hands of Steph’s Chefs, who escaped with a four-point victory on the back of 14 points from Alex Hands.

Heat Cheque’s Beau Galley scored 17 points in that game, but it was not enough to get them over the line.

However, it was a frustrating performance from Heat Cheque’s second leading scorer Callan Gregory (9.3 per game), who fouled out in the contest.

If Gregory can remain out of foul trouble on Monday, it could be the difference between Heat Cheque winning or losing.

This game should feature a lot of scoring from some very crafty offensive players; however, Heat Cheque’s defensive prowess may be able to edge them in front.

Prediction: Heat Cheque by 1

Monday Men C2

When: Monday, 29th of March – 7:20pm

Where: Frankston Basketball Stadium – Court 3

Who: Dave vs B’Lilly Ballers

Last time they met: Dave-45 defeat B’Lilly Ballers-30

If you enjoy an old-fashioned, low scoring slugfest you have come to the right place.

Both Dave and B’Lilly Ballers have dominated on the defensive end this season and it is not even close when looking at the rankings.

B’Lilly allow just 26.5 points per game while Dave have constricted their opponents to just 22.1 points this season.

Dave began the season with six wins from six games but then went on to drop two of their last three regular season games and looked shaky.

However, they managed to defeat the minor premiers B’Lilly Ballers in the qualifying final by 15 points in a convincing win.

Although, B’Lilly were without their leading scorer William Gayfer (14.5 per game) in the qualifier, and he will be vital to their chances if they are to pull out a grand final victory.

He showed he can perform on the big stage too, scoring 23 points in the preliminary final, Dave will have to stay attached to him or they can say goodbye to their chances.

While Dave is a well-rounded squad they will still have to rely on leading scorers Will Barnet (10.8 per game) and Charlier Burr (10.5 per game) providing good scoring output if they are to keep their noses in front.

To have the best chance of winning, Dave must apply immense pressure on Gayfer to prevent him from putting up big numbers once again for B’Lilly.

This shapes up to be a well-fought contest and should come down to the final seconds.

Prediction: B’Lilly Ballers by 3

Monday Men C3

When: Monday, 29th of March – 9:10pm

Where: Frankston Basketball Stadium – Court 2

Who: Red Weasels vs The Dog Pack

Last time they met: Red Weasels-49 defeat The Dog Pack- 32

The Dog Pack sat atop of the ladder at the conclusion of the regular season, winning eight games from their ten matches, including a win against the Red Weasels.

However, the Weasels bounced back just weeks later, defeating The Dog Pack in the qualifying final by 17 points thanks to William West and Kai Nuget who combined for 39 points and five threes.

If The Dog Pack are to succeed on Monday night they will have to replicate their round 11 performance against the Weasels where they prevailed by 14 points.

Harrison Potts came up big in that match, scoring 15 points in a game that secured top spot on the ladder.

Potts, who averages 10.7 points this season will have to carry the load again if The Dog Pack want to outscore the tandem of West (10.1 per game) and Nuget (15 per game).

If West and Nuget fail to fire in the grand final, it will be interesting to see who can step up for the Weasels.

However, if The Dog Pack allow the Weasels to get going from three-point range then they will have to set their sights on next season.

Prediction: Weaslels by 6

Monday Men D1

When: Monday, 29th of March – 7:10pm

Where: Frankston Basketball Stadium – Court 2

Who: Water Wizz vs Courgoes

Last time they met: N/A

Water Wizz and Courgoes shapes up to be a fascinating game as they have not faced off once this season due to the COVID-19 disruption in February.

The Courgoes are running hot, winning their last seven games, and have worked their way from 3rd position on the ladder into the grand final.

The offensively talented Courgoes scored 43 points per game on the back of brilliant seasons from Jake Haskett (13.7 per game) and Leigh McLuckie (8.1 per game).

Water Wizz are no stranger to scoring the ball as well, putting up 38.5 points per game across their 10 games this summer.

Matthew Leppitsch (12.1 per game) will likely have to be the focal point for Water Wizz as he provides an option who can score at will in the paint.

The importance of defence cannot be understated, throughout the season Water Wizz allowed 31.2 points per game, edging out the Courgoes who give up 34 points per game.

If the Courgoes want to win comfortably they will have to exert more defensive pressure on the inside scoring presence of Leppitsch and force him to pass out of the paint.

However, they must be careful not to leave Max Stringer (9.6 per game) open who is capable of knocking down timely three-point shots.

This match is a difficult one to gauge and could very well be basket for basket until the final buzzer.

Prediction: Courgoes by 4

Monday Men D2

When: Monday, 29th of March – 8:10pm

Where: Frankston Basketball Stadium – Court 2

Who: Old Skool Ballerz vs The Nook

Last time they met: Old Skool Ballerz- 35 defeat The Nook- 27

The Old Skool Ballerz are a powerhouse of the competition, dropping only one game for the entire season, a one point loss against The Zombies in round six.

The Nook are a formidable outfit too, earning five wins from eight games to narrowly hold second spot on the ladder.

The Nook are a potent offensive unit, scoring 39.1 points per game this season, however, were held to just 27 points in their qualifying final match against the Old Skool Ballerz.

Steven Rogers was instrumental in the qualifier for the Ballerz, scoring 16 points and securing his teams spot in the grand final.

Rogers has been reliable all season, scoring 14 points per game and carrying the Ballerz to the number one spot in the standings.

The Nook have shown throughout this year that they are excellent at holding the opposition in check, allowing only 27.6 points per game, a league best accomplishment.

Not only will they have to rely on their defence, but they will also have to lean on Goce Gicevski on the offensive end if they are to pull off an upset win on Monday.

Gicevski scored just six points against the Ballerz a fortnight ago, however, has had a remarkable summer overall, averaging 12.4 points per game for The Nook.

If The Nook can keep up the defensive energy they have shown all season, whilst also freeing up Gicevski to score, they may be able to find a way to win.

Prediction: Old Skool Ballers by 5

Monday Men D3

When: Monday 29th of March – 8:20pm

Where: Frankston Basketball Stadium – Court 3

Who: Everybody Loves Everybody vs Tune Squad

Last time they met: N/A

What an outstanding and competitive season it has been with every top four team winning seven out of nine games.

Unfortunately, only two teams could make it to the final game of the season and it just so happens to be two teams who have not played against each other until this point.

Everybody Loves Everybody are scoring machines, pouring in 45.5 points per game across the season, 12.8 of these points have come from the hot shooting of Jared Pattie who is their leading bucket-getter.

Tune Squad finished two spots below Everybody Loves Everybody in 4th position and are an exceptional defensive squad, allowing just 20.8 points per game.

Shaun Smithers is averaging 17 points this finals series and 14.2 across the season for Tune Squad and is likely to score well again provided that Everybody Loves Everybody does not throw any double teams his way.

If double teams are utilised, expect Nick Xanthopoulos (10.25 per game) to step up as the second scoring option for Tune Squad.

It will be intriguing to see if the scoring masters on Everybody Loves Everybody are able to cope with the defensive schemes that Tune Squad will throw at them.

Considering that these teams have not met this season, it could be possible that the offensive talents that Everybody Loves Everybody has is a whole different beast to what Tune Squad has been exposed to this season.

This game should not disappoint and will be interesting to see which game style prevails.

Prediction: Everybody Loves Everybody in overtime.