IT’S a Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) triple-header tonight with each team looking forward to get a crucial win.
Bendigo Spirit Vs. Dandenong Rangers
Friday, 7pm at Bendigo Stadium
Nadeen Payne v Rebecca Cole
Cole has been a key player for the Rangers in the season thus far, racking up 27 points, three assists and three steals in last week’s game against the Lightning. She will need to be shut down early on if Bendigo wants to maintain its winning streak. Payne has been playing an important role in the Spirit’s offensive end, as well as being the high scorer for last week’s game against Sydney.
Season so far: The Spirit will be expected to be on their A-game this week, coming into the match off their last week’s two-point victory over Sydney Uni Flames. However, early on in the season Bendigo was also defeated by Lightning by 28 points but have been yet to suffer a loss since. Dandenong suffered a 25-point loss last week to Adelaide Lightning, and with three losses before that, the Rangers probably need this win if they want to stay contenders for the finals this season. Cole is definitely their key player after her 27-point game last week.
The game: It will be a tough game for the Rangers, as Bendigo will be coming into the game with confidence and a lot of support. If the Rangers can work out a strong defence system, then they might have a chance of winning. However, the Spirit will have their home crowd, and with three from three in their last games, Bendigo will be hoping to secure another victory over the Rangers.
Adelaide Lightning vs. Townsville Fire
Friday, 7pm at Titanium Security Arena
Nicole Seekamp v Suzy Batkovic
Seekamp has been playing a key role in the offensive end for the Lightning, especially in last week’s game, where she ended up with a total of seven assists. Her ability to slow down the game and create plays was a big contributor to the Lightning’s last win. Batkovic is currently the lead scorer for the season out of the two teams, with a total of 117 points, and will continue to bank more, if she isn’t shut down underneath the ring. She could miss the game altogether though, battling a neck injury that could sideline her from this crucial clash.
Season so far: The Lightning started the season on a low with two losses before finally getting a win over Bendigo Spirit in their third game. They then suffered an 18-point loss to Bendigo in the following week, which cut their winning streak short. The Fire have played their last three games at home and have come out with only one win against Sydney by three points. The other two games have both been within an eight-point margin, so they will hopefully come out on the better side of the eight points this week.
The game: Both teams are coming into the game with two wins and three losses, so it’ll be interesting to see who can make it over the line and give themselves an equal three. The Lighting will be coming in with confidence after last week’s win, whilst the Fire will be more determined to win after their loss in the close game last week against the Boomers.
Perth Lynx vs. Melbourne Boomers
Friday, 6:30pm at Bendat Basketball Centre
Britany McPhee v Cayla George
Despite being new to the league this season, McPhee has already shown us what she’s worth before the fifth round, and will continue to do so in this week’s game. George on the other hand knows what the league is all about and will be using her knowledge of the league and her opponents to attempt to shut down any offensive plays Lynx will try and use against the Boomers this week.
Season so far: The Lynx have had a solid start to the season with five straight wins, all but two being within a six-point margin. They have been a strong side, with great teamwork up both the offensive and defensive end, which has led them to being undefeated thus far. The Boomers have almost had a clean season, except for falling short by two points against Bendigo Spirit in their third game. They soon bounced back, taking 17-point win against Sydney Uni Flames, and a close eight-point win against Townsville last week.
The game: The Lynx will be determined this week to maintain their winning streak, while the Boomers will be coming out to try and win to get further up on the ladder. Both teams will be playing strong and smart basketball that will end up in a very close game.