THE Bendigo Bank Spirit is aiming to rectify its fluctuating form with a WNBL road double against Perth and Adelaide this weekend. A win on Saturday night against the Canberra Capitals means the Spirit split their round three series of games 1-1, to leave them in sixth place with a 3-2 record.
Games against the Perth Lynx, who the Spirit defeated in round two, and the winless Adelaide Lightning give the Spirit an opportunity to notch up a pair of wins and establish themselves in the upper echelon of the WNBL ladder. With plenty of new faces in the mix for the 2015-16 season, guard Belinda Snell believed the team was still in a transitional period.
But the Australian Opals star was confident the mixed form that had marked the Spirit’s opening to the season could soon be rectified. “We come out and play some really good games and as you’ve seen on Friday night’s result (against Dandenong) we can have some shockers,” she said.
“It’s a matter of us getting to know all of the younger players and new players and coming together to make sure we don’t have those lapses. “The league is so strong and even this year, you have to make sure you turn up to play every game.”
Snell said the Spirit would need to be at their best defensively to counter a Lynx team which had proved tough to defeat in Perth and defeated league powerhouse Dandenong last Sunday. “We have got to make sure we are all the same page defensively with our rotations and come up with some good stops so that we can get down the other end and get some baskets,” she said.
Snell and Kelly Wilson will have a tough task in curbing the influence of Lynx guard Sami Whitcomb. The American import was near unstoppable against Dandenong, knocking in 36 points and grabbing six rebounds.
Spirit season leaders – points per game: Kelsey Griffin (19.6); rebounds per game: Gabe Richards (10); assists per game: Kelly Wilson (5); total steals: Griffin (16); blocked shots: Griffin and Richards (5).