Ballarat Miners will be playing for a top four spot and a double-chance when they face Diamond Valley on the road on Saturday night.
The South East Australian Basketball League top eight still hangs in the balance heading into the final round of the regular season.
The Ballarat GMHBA Miners must defeat the Eagles to finish fourth, while a loss could see the team finish anywhere from fourth to sixth.
While the Eagles sit in the bottom three and well out of finals contention, the team did manage to defeat the Miners in their previous outing by three points.
“We watched our fourth quarter against them the last time we played them and we’d actually lost six of our last seven fourth quarters,” coach Nathan Cooper-Brown said.
“So for us, it’s about great shot selection, it’s about keeping pace in the game, it’s about staying engaged for a full 24 seconds defensively and if we do that, it doesn’t matter what changes Diamond Vally makes, we should get the result.”
The team is not only focused on securing that top four spot, but is trying to build momentum by playing at its peak leading into finals.
But the Miners are expecting the Eagles’ best effort.
“It’s their final game of the year, finishing the season the right way at home will be really big for them, so it is not like they are going to lay down,” Cooper-Brown said.
The Miners have two players under injury clouds ahead of the crucial game with captain Peter Hooley missing training due to ankle soreness, while Tristan Fisher is battling illness.