The Central Pulse have secured home-court advantage for the ANZ Premiership grand final after defeating the Northern Stars 66-48 at Takanini's Pulman Arena.
Despite a devastating 44-39 loss to the Mainland Tactix yesterday on Super Sunday, the Pulse returned to the court in fresh form and hungry for a comeback ahead of the season's final round.
But it wasn't entirely smooth sailing for the Wellington side as the league leaders struggled to find their rhythm against a determined Stars force.
The Stars were in fine form in the opening quarter of the clash with strong defence and attack units causing early problems for the Pulse.
Stars shooter Maia Wilson was in sublime form despite being up against a tough Pulse defence unit led by Silver Ferns captain Katrina Grant. And while Wilson's confidence radiated under the hoop, goal attack Ellen Halpenny, who played in her 100th National League match, offered key support in and around the circle.
However, it wasn't enough to rattle the Pulse as the visitors took an early two-goal lead before surging ahead thanks to near faultless efforts from shooters Aliyah Dunn and Ameliaranne Ekenasio.
Pulse midcourter Whitney Souness kept Stars defender Holly Fowler on her toes as the speedy Silver Fern led her side from the circle edge. But the resilient Stars defence unit were quick to snatch any opportunity under the hoop with English import Ama Agbeze's ranging arms often a challenge for the young Dunn.
With a more comfortable six-goal lead in the third quarter - that was quickly extended to 12 - the Pulse took advantage of the Stars' mistakes in the second half as the Wellington side rediscovered their winning form.
As hopes of a comeback victory fell further out of reach for the home side, the Pulse continued to dominate in all areas of the court to secure their 11th win of the season.
The Pulse now have 25 points on the leaderboard while the second-placed Steel sits on 22 - making the Pulse's round 13 fixture against the Northern Mystics immaterial to their final minor round placing.
Meanwhile, things haven't got any better for the Stars who will remain at the bottom of the leaderboard with just three wins for the season.
The Mystics will play the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic on Wednesday night at Trusts Arena. The clash will determine whether the Auckland side can snatch a spot in the playoffs with the Mystics just two points behind the Tactix on the Premiership ladder.