The Southern Steel are on track for an unbeaten regular season, while the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic are on the precipice of missing the playoffs after being leapfrogged by the Northern Mystics and Central Pulse on Super Sunday in the ANZ Premiership.
The Steel have moved to 13-0 after dismantling the Magic 78-59, comfortably swatting away one of their three prospective challengers for the title.
The Magic had pushed the Steel close earlier in the season, losing 65-61, but have been on a poor run recently. They've won just one of their past six games, with that solitary victory coming against the bottom of the table Mainland Tactix.
As a result of that slide, they have now dropped out of the three playoff spots, after their biggest defeat of the season was compounded by the Mystics' 60-54 victory over the Northern Stars and the Pulse's 56-37 thrashing of the Tactix.
The Magic had lost to the Pulse by 17 on Monday, and now their 19 goal thrashing by the Steel has significantly hurt their goal percentage, which doubles as a potentially pivotal playoff tiebreaker.
They now sit in fourth spot on 16 points, two points behind the second placed Pulse, and one point behind the Mystics, who will be favoured to topple the Magic in a crucial clash tomorrow night.
The Magic were quickly out of the contest against the Steel, with early errors giving the southerners a quick buffer. Two consecutive turnovers at the attacking end led to four straight Steel goals, with goal shoot Jhaniele Fowler-Reid dominant as ever.
When the Magic got the ball into their attacking circle, they were efficient, hitting their first 19 shots, but their opportunities were far too rare, trailing by eight despite their accuracy.
The Steel scored 16 goals from turnovers, and put up 18 more shots than the Magic to cruise to victory, led by Fowler-Reid's 60 goals on 66 shots.
It was a slightly more difficult contest for the Mystics, who were pushed for half the game by the Stars. The score was tied at 27 just before the half, but a rapid 4-0 run into the half was followed by a 10-3 streak in the third quarter as the Mystics pulled away to a comfortable victory.
The Pulse had the easiest contest of the triple header at Trusts Arena. The Tactix could only muster 15 goals in the first half as they were smothered by the Pulse defence, with the Pulse recording an emphatic victory which could yet prove important for their previously mediocre goal percentage.
The results leave tomorrow's showdown between the Magic and Mystics as a potential playoff decider, with the victor set to be in pole position with 10 days left in the regular season.