Spirit aim to break seven-year finals drought

23 February 2024 | Bendigo Spirit news

Win and they’re in.

That’s the simple equation facing Bendigo Spirit ahead of Saturday’s season-defining clash against fellow finals hopeful Perth Lynx at Red Energy Arena.

In a remarkable finish to the regular season, both the Spirit and Lynx need to win to make finals, with the loser missing out.

Bendigo will be looking for a sixth win in a row to continue a remarkable late-season revival and end a seven-year finals drought.

But as captain Kelsey Griffin explained, it’s been a must-win scenario for quite a while now.

“We’ve been playing finals since January 1, it’s been do-or-die since then so that’s kind of been our approach to each game,” Griffin said.

“Not to add pressure but we just understand the circumstances we’ve put ourselves in and what we’ve put ourselves up against.”

Head coach Kennedy Kereama couldn’t be prouder of his team’s last win, a 33-point thrashing of reigning WNBL champs Townsville on the road on Sunday.

The Spirit outscored their highly-fancied opponents 49-23 in the second half in an emphatic statement.

“I’m very proud of this group,” Kereama said.

“We know that it’s very difficult to come to Townsville and get a win, let alone a win with the margin we got.

“We’re playing great basketball right now. I think this group is confident in their abilities and the teammates’ abilities.”

The match will be Lynx captain and former Spirit player Anneli Maley’s first in Bendigo since her off-season departure.

Maley and import Aari McDonald will be important to Perth’s chances of victory.

Both starred in the team’s win over UC Capitals last week, with Maley amassing 20 rebounds and 17 points, while McDonald had a game-high 24 points in her return from a knee injury.

McDonald torched the Spirit in their first meeting of the season, won by the Lynx in Perth, with 34 points but didn’t feature in the next clash won by Bendigo.

You can catch the Spirit’s final home game of the season with the special deal of two adult tickets for $20 or kids getting in free with a paying adult.

To make the most of this offer, click the ticket link and type in the offer code: 20OFFER


Spirit v Lynx

Red Energy Arena

Saturday, February 24

Tip-off at 7.30pm EDT

Live on 9Now