Bandits into grand final

THE Albury-Wodonga Bandits have sensationally advanced to the SEABL South Conference grand final after outclassing Knox  99-80 in the second semi-final on Saturday night.

The decider will be played at the Lauren Jackson Sports Centre in a fortnight.

Having been beaten twice previously this season by the Raiders — both times by 15 points — the Bandits were never headed in one of their most complete performances of the year.

Livewire import Jazz Ferguson shook off a couple of below-par performances against the Raiders to take MVP honours on the night. His 28 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists (along with just one turnover), set the tone for the impressive victory.

He was ably assisted by the twin tower duo of Momo Ntumba (18 points, 10 rebounds) and Alex Opacic (17 points, 3/3 from three-point land).

And Bandits captain Nick Payne turned in a perfect veteran's game, chiming in with 16 points and seven boards.

The Raiders, playing without import big man Lester Strong due to injury, relied on CJ Massingale (21 points) but the veteran star was harassed into poor shooting, connecting on just 6 of 17 attempts.

Knox will now face Nunawading in next weekend's preliminary final after the Spectres knocked off Hobart 104-87 in their semi-final clash.

STEVE SMITH's full reports in Monday's Border Mail.

This story Bandits into grand final first appeared on The Border Mail.


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