Bendigo is determined to produce a more spirited display on defence when Round 2 of the Chemist Warehouse WNBL gets underway in Mackay on Monday night.
The Villawood Properties Bendigo Spirit have conceded 100 points in their opening losses to the Jayco Southside Flyers (102) and Brydens Sydney Uni Flames (100) and are looking to lock down against reigning champs, UC Capitals.
Bendigo vice-captain Carley Ernst believes the Spirit can turn things around if they can tick a few important boxes.
“Our defence needs to be better. We haven’t put enough pressure on the ball, we haven’t contained players in on-balls and we’ve been a bit muddled up in what we’re doing,’’ she said.
“I think definitely in the first two games our defence has hurt us a lot especially with Southside and Sydney both scoring 100. You’re not going to win many games when you give up 100 points.
“Your offence stems from your defence, so I think if we can get that down pat and put more pressure on, then our offence will start to flow a lot better and we’ll start hitting our shots.”
Bendigo travelled to Mackay on Sunday after playing on Saturday afternoon, while the Caps back up 24 hours after their final game of the opening round.
A fascinating match-up looms between Bendigo skipper Tessa Lavey and rising Canberra star Maddi Rocci.
The 21-year old point guard has started the season in blistering form averaging 22.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 7 assists and 2.5 steals across Canberra’s opening two games.
The Capitals have a pep in their step after notching their first win of the season, a gutsy victory over the JCU Townsville Fire in Mackay on Sunday night.
They did it without injured superstar Kelsey Griffin and recruits Tahlia Tupea and Britt Smart.
Marianna Tolo and the Caps are expecting Bendigo to rebound strongly in Round 2.
“We can’t underestimate them. They’ve had a couple of tough losses so they’re going to be looking to bounce back,’’ Tolo said.
“We really have to respect each and every player on the Bendigo team. They’ve got a couple of Opals squad members there too and they’ve got capabilities like everyone in this league.
“We’ve really got to come into this game focused and ready to shut their players down.”
Megan Hustwaite is a freelance contributor to WNBL.com.au
UC Capitals vs Villawood Properties Bendigo Spirit
Monday 16 November 2020
5.00pm AEST / 6.00pm AEDT
LIVE on Kayo