The Bendigo Braves men and women will play in preliminary finals this weekend in their pursuit of an NBL1 Championship.

The Braves women had to play two games last weekend to progress after losing to the Kilsyth Cobras in a big upset last Friday night.

A 42-33 lead at half time wasn’t enough for Bendigo, who played poorly in the second half, surrendering 52 points to lose 85-70.

Three Braves starters played the entire game, with substitute Gabby Turner the only bench player used.

Guard Tessa Lavey said the team was disappointed with their performance on Friday night but bounced back on Sunday.

“We came out and we weren’t ready to play. We had to adjust quickly and we were ready to go on Sunday,” Lavey said.

Lavey applauded the Cobras for their scouting of the Braves and said they did everything right.

“Kilsyth knew who to help off, where to helpfrom and they doubled the bigs a lot and we didn’t adjust quick enough,” she said.

The Braves bounced back against Knox last Sunday to set up a showdown against the Supercats in Geelong on Sunday.

A 26-17 second quarter set up victory, with Tess Lavey top scoring with 20 points as part of a balanced scoring display from the Braves, with all five starters registering double figures.

The Braves men’s dream finals series has continued with a win at Kilsyth.

After finishing the home and away season in eighth spot, Bendigo has defied its standing to reach the final four and a showdown at Frankston.

A monster first quarter gave the Braves plenty of momentum as they took a 33-18 to the first break.

Captain Ray Turner was immense with a 17/20 shooting performance, knocking down 37 points and grabbing 12 boards.

“Our job since day one has been to get to the championship game and win,” Turner said.

The Braves have played their best basketball in the latter part of the season, with their fighting spirit proving key.

“Everyone is starting to understand their role. I just don’t want to lose. I have to give it all I can,” Turner said.

NICHOLAS NAKOS