Wildcats & Eagles to renew local NBL1 rivalry

The feud between local rivals Eltham Wildcats and Diamond Valley Eagles is set to hit fever pitch next weekend, when the two clubs go head-to-head for the O’Connor Cukier Cup in NBL1’s ‘Rivalry Round’.

The Wildcats and Eagles share close proximity and understand the importance of securing local bragging rights.

Eltham currently holds that mantle, after the men’s and women’s sides both recorded victories against Diamond Valley in round one.

The Wildcats, who are eighth in the women’s league and 13th in the men’s league, are ready to defend the local crown.

“We know our fans have enjoyed holding the bragging rights and we want to ensure that doesn’t change,” high-flying Eltham forward Josh Sykes said.

Not only will Diamond Valley be looking to reclaim a sense of local supremacy, they’re also hoping to build positive momentum after an underwhelming NBL1 campaign to date.

The women’s side are last, winning just one game so far, while the men’s team is 15th.

A big rivalry victory, away from home, will hopefully be an igniter of change.

“We want to start playing better basketball as a team and record some more wins. We have the talent to do so and there’s no better way to start than beating our local rivals,” Eagles women’s star Ally Wilson said.

Tip-off for the women’s game is at 6:00, followed by the men’s at 8:00, with both games to be played at Eltham High School on Saturday June 15.


Photos: Lauri Jean

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“The Cup is a tribute to Cathy Cukier a Life Member of the Eltham Basketball Club and her mother Margaret O’Connor, a Life Member of the Diamond Valley Basketball Association. Both individuals and their families are held in the highest regard at their respective organisations. The Cup is presented to the winning team captains and based on the result of both the women’s and men’s games, if it is one win each, points differential will decide who takes the prize.”