THE first of the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) finals action is set to kick off on Sunday with the reigning premiers, University of Canberra (UC) Capitals hosting the Melbourne Boomers. Both sides have been in ripping form as of late and coming off a break should be raring to go.
A one-point loss will be etched in the memory of the Boomers with the Melbourne side unable to get over the line in their recent clash against the Capitals who simply did just enough. In fact, the Capitals had the wood over them in Round 5 as well running away with a three point victory. But the Boomers know what it takes to conquer the Capitals downing them by a whopping 35 points early in their season well and truly announcing their dominance and will be looking to repeat those efforts in the semi-finals. The Capitals have really hit their straps in recent history with five game winning streak while their opponents have not had the same luck recording three wins out of their past five making for an intriguing battle on Sunday. University of Canberra are strong at home winning 10 of their 11 while Melbourne have an impressive away record winning eight of their 11 chances.
The Melbourne Boomers will be without Monique Conti with the Richmond AFLW star opting out of her basketball contract to focus on her footy career. Conti provided that little bit of x-factor off the bench and will be sorely missed but the Boomers are not without a plethora of other talented options. Opals star Cayla George is in a league of her own with the highly touted forward able to excite the crowd with her scoring prowess and dynamism. She is not alone with Ezi Magbegor able to inflict pain on the scoreboard sitting at a 53.3 per cent field goal accuracy with only Stella Beck above her on 61.4 per cent. The Boomers are a relatively well rounded team with each individual player able to stand up and take the game by the horns with Sophie Cunningham solid from the free-throw line and Lindsay Allen a proficient points scorer and handy around the basket.
The Capitals finished second for a reason the main one being their strong offensive options with Kia Nurse, Mariana Tolo and Keely Froling all able to blow a game wide open. All three players are renowned for their high scoring ability and attack on the ball making them a damaging trio for the Boomers. Kelsey Griffin is another go-to girl for the Capitals able to churn out the minutes and play at a consistently high level credit to her basketball nous. Although she is not as prominent as some of the other members in her team Maddison Rocci is no slouch racking up the rebounds and points. Olivia Epoupa leads the way for rebounds in the Capitals outfit with the Frenchwoman recording 164 for the season so far.