FINDING form is as important as making the finals for Melton Thoroughbreds coach Aaron Christian after his team copped a 21-point loss at the weekend.
The Thoroughbreds got a few favours in other games in the race for Big V Basketball division 2 finals but are limping to the line after a 62-83 defeat to Cranbourne.
Melton was a point up at half-time but capitulated in the third quarter, outscored by 20 points as Cranbourne's accuracy lifted and Melton's collapsed.
Craigieburn (13-5) looks safe to play finals on top of the table, but second to fifth is all still up for grabs with Keysborough (12-6), Horsham (12-6), Melton (11-6) and Keilor (11-7).
"We had no intensity," Christian said. "We're in a form slump and it showed.
"We went in up a point at half-time but we were playing at Cranbourne's tempo. They're a fast-break team and we couldn't maintain that for the whole game.
"They got inside the key and beat us one-on-one. Once they started getting lay-ups we collapsed a bit and their jump shooters opened up."
Cranbourne made Melton pay with a 29-point third quarter, hitting 11 of 16 shots.
"We're lucky in a sense, and no disrespect to Pakenham that we've got them next and a chance to get some form back," Christian said. "We've got three games left and need two of them to be sure of finals, but if we don't turn our form around and just scrape in we'll go out in the first round, for sure."
Jordan Kirk (16 points) and Martin Pietrykowski (15) led the scoring for Melton.
Tip-off for Melton against Pakenham (11th, 2-16) at home is 7pm on Saturday.