JCU Townsville Fire captain Suzy Batkovic has been named in the WNBL Team of the Week for a fourth consecutive occasion.
Despite enduring an interrupted preparation to the Fire’s New Year’s Eve blockbuster, the four-time WNBL MVP proved unstoppable as she finished with a team-high 18 points and 15 rebounds.
— WNBL (@WNBL) January 3, 2017
With the Fire desperate to keep their championship defence alive, Batkovic sent a scare through Townsville Stadium in the opening quarter as she went down with a back injury.
Forced to the changerooms to seek treatment, the 36-year-old returned to guide her team to a fourth straight win, but head coach Claudia Brassard expects no enduring problems.
“She just locked it up, but she should be OK,” Brassard said.
“We could only give her short stints (off the court) otherwise it locks up on her, but she’ll be OK.
“Not being at training all week and her conditioning (not training) given she’s had other issues to deal with, I think that affected her as well.
“But she got 18 and 15, for someone who hasn’t trained it’s pretty impressive.”
Batkovic’s rich vein of form has coincided with the Fire peeling off the competition’s longest winning streak, which they will look to extend against the University of Canberra Capitals on Friday night.
Having dropped a game on the road to the Capitals earlier this year, the Fire are desperate to keep their series alive and to maintain the pressure on the top-four having significantly reduced the margin.
“We know that the only series we have lost thus far is against Perth, so our aim for the rest of the season is to win every other series against all the other teams,” Fire point guard Kelly Wilson said.
“For us to get this game at home – knowing that we play them next week (again) in Canberra – is huge for our season and we all know that.”
The Fire host the Capitals at Townsville Stadium from 7pm on Friday night.
Click here to pre-purchase tickets to the Fire and the Capitals.