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Nunawading Spectres coach Paul Flynn has identified defence and running as the two most vital keys to victory for his squad in this weekend’s NBL1 Preliminary Final against Kilsyth Cobras.

The Spectres advanced to the Preliminary Final after two massive victories in the Elimination Final (89-61 v Waverley Falcons) and Semi-Final (97-73 v Ringwood Hawks) last weekend, with the sixth seed now looking to upset the Cobras in Kilsyth to book a ticket to the NBL1 Championship Game.

Flynn expects a mighty challenge from Kilsyth but knows where his team needs to excel if they want to secure a victory.

“You need to be really sound defensively, particularly with the on-ball scenarios and also the off-ball rotations,” Flynn said.

“Kilsyth move the ball incredibly well, they generate some really good floor spacing. We need to narrow the floor down for them and shorten the rotations. If we can do that, I think scoring opportunities tighten up for them.

“Defensively our rotations will be absolutely important. We need to keep the running game going, that was a trademark of why we won on the weekend because we were able to fill the lanes and create transition buckets.”

Kilsyth are one of NBL1’s most experienced squads, while Nunawading are one of the youngest, which makes the clash on Saturday night extra fascinating.

Flynn made an interesting link to both squads, explaining how a lot of his young Spectres would have plied their trade underneath some of the Cobras’ veterans.

“The experience in terms of longevity for them will play a very important part,” Flynn said.

“Their veterans have played together in important games before. Clare Camac and Alison Downie spent years together at Dandenong, very successful in SEABL, very successful at WNBL level. That familiarity as well as experience will play a fairly important role for them.

“A lot of my players were actually the apprentices to a Camac, to a Downie, in those Dandenong teams back in the day. My girls were those young rookies that were in training squads against these players.

“It will be interesting to see what sort of lessons they’ve learnt having to go against these players in the formative years of their senior careers and whether or not that helps navigate our way through on Saturday night.”

Nunawading had a strong spread of scorers in their two weekend clashes, with Kathleen Scheer, Rachel Antoniadou, Chelsea D’Angelo and Maddie Garrick all having significant scoring games. 

Flynn says it’s been a deliberate ploy to ensure the team has multiple offensive options, which he believes makes them a more difficult team to plan against.

“It makes us a lot harder to guard,” he said.

“Our team was assembled to have multiple options and our offence was designed to have multiple contributors on any given night.”

Tip off between Kilsyth and Nunawading is scheduled for 6:00pm on Saturday night.