They were the hottest team in the NBL1 South coming into the playoffs but the Sandringham Sabres snapped the winning run of the Knox Raiders with the 97-90 qualifying final victory.

Knox finished up as the regular season champions with an 18-4 record with a 10-game winning streak to be two games clear in top spot as they earned the right to host the Sabres in the qualifying final at the State Basketball Centre.

Your Sandringham Sabres had only won two of their last five matches to enter the finals from fourth position, but they were a motivated outfit from the outset on Saturday ending up leading by three points at quarter-time.

The Sandringham lead grew to 12 points during the second quarter but by half-time the Raiders had hit back to bring the deficit back to just three.

It was still a three-point lead for Sandringham at three quarter-time and from there they were able to open up a 10-point advantage once more, and to end up claiming the seven-point victory.

We will now host a preliminary final on Saturday 5th August at the Sabre-Dome, tip off at 7pm!

Ben Ayre delivered 23 points, 12 assists and four rebounds in the win, with CJ Asuncion-Byrd adding 24 points, four boards and two assists, and Tom Koppens 19 points and six rebounds.

Dane Pineau also had 14 points and nine rebounds on 7/10 shooting with Campbell Blogg putting up 11 points, four boards, four assists and two steals.