Bendigo Spirit import Barbara Turner has been released from her contract, effective immediately, after playing only a handful of games in the 2018/2019 WNBL season.
“It was exciting to bring Barb in, given her experience, but coming into the group late, coupled with the WNBL being vastly different to the European competition, Barb never reached her full potential with us,” coach Simon Pritchard said.
“Our focus is getting back on the winner’s list this Sunday in Dandenong and finishing strong this side of the New Year.”
Turner was announced on the Spirit line-up earlier this year after it was revealed Jamie Scott suffered a metatarsal stress fracture at the 2018 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup and was unable to commit to a season in the WNBL.
During her time with the Spirit, Turner played 12 games averaging 6.17 points per game, 28 field goal percentage, 30 three-point percentage and 44 free-throw percentage.
Bendigo Stadium marketing and commercial partnerships manager Michael McIvor said there were no plans to replace Turner with another import.
“This is an opportunity for our development players to get some minutes on the court and the rest of the group will step up to fill the void,” McIovr said.
After the Spirit’s fifth straight loss after their double-header interstate weekend, they must now find a wat to bounce back to secure a spot in the finals.
On-court defence has been a recurring issue for the Spirit and something Pritchard plans to iron out before they travel to Melbourne on Sunday to play the Dandenong Rangers.
“Players haven’t been containing their opponents on the court,” Pritchard said.
Pritchard said the Spirit’s recent busy travel schedule didn’t allow the team to adjust on-court strategies between matches.
“There has been very little opportunity to work on anything,” Pritchard said.
“We will be working on it over the next week so we can put ourselves in a position where we can control and outscore the other teams.”
Pritchard will also focus on helping his players build individual confidence in their on-court ability.
“If everyone is confident in themselves then the whole team will be able to achieve together,” Pritchard said.
Spirit’s next home game will be against Townsville fire on December 21.
Article courtesy of The Bendigo Advertiser – Anthony Pinda