Spirit ready to tackle reigning champs
Bendigo Spirit head coach Kennedy Kereama believes his team is much better prepared to take on WNBL powerhouse Townsville this time around.
The Spirit and Fire haven’t faced off since the season opener at Red Energy Arena which the visiting team won 93-80.
After a winless four-game run to start the season, the Spirit have now won four of their last seven to get their finals aspirations back on track.
Up next is the reigning champs again in Geelong on Sunday, something Kereama feels Bendigo are ready for.
“We’ve made some inroads since we played them last,” he said.
“We’re in a much better position this time around, but obviously they’re playing very good basketball.
“There’s a reason why they’re on top of the ladder, they’ve got the most talented roster and playing good basketball so we’ll have to play great basketball to give ourselves the best chance to beat them.”
Kereama says the Spirit will take confidence out of last week’s hard-fought win over Melbourne Boomers.
The Boomers were the last team to beat the ladder-leading Fire, which have an impressive record of 9-3.
“They’re the last team to beat them so of course that gives us some confidence,” he said.
“I think we’ve had a great week’s preparation as well and have figured a lot of things out over the last three or four rounds.”
Australian star Alice Kunek is sidelined with a wrist injury, which sees Courtney Woods promoted to the starting five.
“She’s been exceptional for them consistently as an impact player off the bench,” Kereama said.
It’s the second of two games the Spirit host in Geelong, thanks to the partnership with major partner Transport Accident Commission (TAC).
The team has fond memories of their last visit to Geelong, having defeated Adelaide Lightning in a thriller last month on their way to claiming the series against them.
Spirit v Fire
Sunday, January 7
Tip-off at 3.30pm EDT