The Bendigo Bank Spirit will use its two earlier season defeats against the Melbourne Boomers as motivation ahead of Saturday night’s WNBL rematch.
Spirit star Belinda Snell said the losses had certainly stung the playing group.
In a season where little separates the top six teams on the league ladder, the dual losses top the Boomers could umtimately prove fatal to the Spirit’s finals chances.
Snell, who had 17 points and seven rebounds in last weekend’s win against Canberra, said the Spirit had benefitted from a tough training schedule since returning from the Christmas break.
“They did a great job controlling the tempo the last two times we’ve played them and really been physical with us,” she said.
“It’s really important that we are prepared for that Saturday night.
“I’m sure we will have a few more tough sessions on the track before Saturday.”
Snell, who earlier this season notched her 250th WNBL game, was confident of a reversal of fortunes against a stubborn Boomers team spearheaded by Tess Madgen, Alice Kunek and former Spirit players Madeline Garrick and Elyse Penaluna.
“The last two games against Melbourne, they’ve just outhustled us,” she said.
“And they’ve had some players who have outstanding games individually, shooting the ball really well.
“We’ve got to do a good job limiting their outside shots.”
The Spirit (10-7) enter week 13 in fifth position, with the Townsville Fire (11-5) after a pair wins snatching top spot over the Perth Lynx (11-5), Sydney Uni Flames (11-5) and Dandenong Rangers (9-6).
(The Boomers) did a great job controlling the tempo the last two times we’ve played them and really been physical with us.
However, three-time Olympian Snell said the Spirit’s focus remained solely on its own form.
“There’s no use focusing on other results, it’s all about us and making sure we’re getting the job done,” she said.
“It’s going to be a very tough finish finish to the season with five or six teams fighting for positions.
“We just have to keep winning and this weekend against Melbourne is more about revenge than anything.”