A record Home Opener crowd of 1,874 turned out to see the Deakin Melbourne Boomers claim a 75-69 win against Adelaide Lightning.
The pre-game featured an official handover of the Boomers WNBL license from Bulleen-Templestowe Basketball Club to a new ownership group, followed by a moving tribute and minute’s silence in memory of the late Linda Perry. And then it was game on.
The Boomers jumped out to a 25-18 start on the back of some hot shooting with Alice Kunek, Maddie Garrick and Britt Smart all connecting early. Leading by 5pts at the half, the Boomers looked well set to open the season with a win.
After starting the season with an overtime loss in Bendigo the previous night, the visiting Lightning ensured they would be right in this contest as well, fighting back hard in the third period to trail by just 2pts heading into the final stanza.
Needing to hit the mark when it most counted, Smart, Chante Black and Alice Kunek all got amongst the scoring, while a returning Bec Cole excited the crowd with some amazing moves to show the crowd that a 20-month absence from the WNBL due to injury has not dampened her talents.
“It was a really good day for our club,” said Coach Guy Molloy after the final buzzer.
“The tribute to Linda Perry marked an important occasion, the crowd was just fantastic and the players responded. It was good to grab a win first up.”
Deakin Melbourne Boomers 75 (Alice Kunek 21, Maddie Garrick 12, Britt Smart 12, Bec Cole 11) defeated Adelaide Lightning (Laura Hodges 21, Colleen Planeta 12).
The Boomers now turn their attention to the Perth Lynx, who they host on Saturday (Oct 15) at 7:30pm. It will be the club’s annual Purple Power Night with lots of prizes and giveaways.
For tickets and memberships, click HERE.