Bendigo Spirit Work To Overcome Costly Mental Lapses

Akuna Photography

COACH Simon Pritchard said the Bendigo Bank Spirit must eradicate the costly lapses in concentration that has the cost the club a higher position on the WNBL ladder.

A mixed weekend for the Spirit, underpinned by a disappointing loss to the Melbourne Boomers followed by a forceful 14 point win against Dandenong, mirrored their season to date.

The 6-5 Spirit cling to fifth position on the ladder, behind top placed Sydney (7-2), Perth (7-2), Townsville (6-3) and South East Queensland (6-4).

Working in their favour is the fact the Spirit have beaten all three of the teams above them they have played.

The Spirit are due to meet Sydney for the first time third season in Bendigo on December 18.

The lapses can readily be traced to a single quarter or 10 minute period in each of the team’s four losses.

It’s the oldest cliche in sport, but Pritchard insists the team’s focus from here on would remain quarter-to quarter

“One-and-one is the story of our season, we simply can’t put eight quarters of basketball together,” he said.

“When we get the wake up call, we respond, but it’s always after. We need players to respond prior to the game and just play what they see in front of them and not think about what’s next, or how tired I am.

“It’s comes down to complacency and we simply cannot do that because the league is so good.

“There are 10 teams in this league who are competitive and they are all tight games.”

This weekend’s match against the Adelaide Lightning marks the first of two crucial phases for the Spirit.

They play three straight games on the road, followed by five in succession at home.

Pritchard said a 2-1 record on the road, including another double header in Queensland, would be the pass mark.

Star guard Belinda Snell said the team’s inconsistency had been equally frustrating to players, but their ability to bounce back after a defeat was without question.

“Dandenong is probably the tallest team in the league and it was great Sunday we came out and really fought hard and were angry,”

“We were very aggressive and very determined to win.

“It was a very physical game. We know we have to put four quarters together.”

The Australian Opals star will reach a huge milestone in Townsville on December 4 when she lines up for her 250th WNBL Game.

Her stellar domestic and international career has been highlighted by championship wins in five countries and a pair of Olympic silver medals and a bronze among a swag of other accolades.

Article: Kieran Iles, Bendigo Advertiser
Photo: Steve Blake, Akuna Photgraphy

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