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Boom on Oz Day Eve II

IF you love your basketball and you live in Melbourne, there’s only one place for you to be tonight and that’s the State Basketball Centre.

The second “Australia Day Eve” match between WNBL crosstown rivals Melbourne Boomers and Dandenong Rangers promises to be a gem and something you should not choose to miss.

Last year, some 2,500 fans attended “Australia Day Eve I” and witnessed elite basketball action at its best.

Now bear in mind, just 11 days ago these two teams needed overtime at Dandenong to separate them so you know their respective ladder positions (Rangers 1, Boomers 7) mean nothing from tip-off in these derby clashes.

LOOSE BALL: Brittany Smart and Sara Blicavs battle it out in the recent overtime game.

It's about a city's bragging rights.

Plus, Boomers – and Rangers – home games are an experience in themselves.

The work Melbourne puts into presenting an outstanding evening’s entertainment and experience has to be experienced and full credit to GM Justin Nelson, out there running games, prizes and sidebar events to make this so much more than a basketball game.

Dandenong is no slouch in that area either, employing Nathan Strempel to keep its show rolling.

These are clubs worthy of your support and especially on this very special night.

Plus, with Basketball Victoria also a partner in the event, all juniors wearing their club gear will be admitted FREE.

When it all comes down to it though, the match should be a beauty, based on their most recent encounter.

That one took star import and championship-winner Natalie Novosel to step up and save the Rangers in regulation before they prevailed in overtime to shore up top spot.

THRILLER: Natalie Novosel, evading Tegan Cunningham here, rescued Dandenong in regulation.

Fellow import Ally Malott also was big with 24 points at 67 per cent, and eight defensive rebounds.

The Boomers were paced by Brittany Smart’s 18 points, Olivia Thompson with 12 and nine boards, and Maddie Garrick her customary aggressive self.

This rematch, the occasion, it has danger-game written all over it for Dandenong, although the way the Rangers came out in their “revenge” game against Lightning in Adelaide last week, it is hard to tip past them.

“Australia Day Eve matches have the potential to become an annual marquee event for the WNBL, and there’s nowhere better to hold them than in Melbourne, Australia’s basketball heartland,” Nelson said.


Tip-off is 7.30pm. Get along. You won’t be sorry.

Jan 25

Content, unless otherwise indicated, is © copyright Boti Nagy.