Boomers wary of Bendigo
They have set a new benchmark in the 2020 Chemist Warehouse WNBL.
But the Deakin Melbourne Boomers admit they would not have proven anything if they are upstaged by win-less Villawood Properties Bendigo Spirit in Cairns on Saturday.
The Boomers are arguably the form team of the competition after cruising to a 6-2 record with three straight wins.
Remarkably they are the only outfit in 2020 to have defeated last season’s grand finalists, two-time defending champions UC Capitals and the star-studded Jayco Southside Flyers.
Yet the Boomers are wary of the Spirit despite their rivals’ 0-9 record.
Boomers assistant Paul Flynn was chuffed over the progress the Melbourne outfit had made since dropping two straight games and at one stage being relegated to a 3-2 record.
However, he suggested their good work threatened to be undone if they took the Spirit lightly on Saturday and did not consider the clash a danger game.
“It’s nice to be in consistent winning form,” Flynn said.
“We had a lull where our performance was not to the standard of Boomers basketball but the last couple of games showed our resolve.”
Flynn said it would not be difficult keeping a lid on expectations ahead of the looming finals despite their winning run which included a 73-67 triumph over two-time defending champs the Capitals.
“We have a pretty experienced group who understand the bigger picture,” he said.
“They have celebrated those wins over the Flyers and the Caps, but they understand there is more work to be done.
“They understand while it is great to get wins in the regular season, they know it doesn’t mean a whole lot unless we continue to improve and back it up when it counts in the playoffs.”
The Boomers are still buzzing from their third straight triumph – an 86-64 romp over Brydens Sydney Uni Flames on Thursday.
Melbourne were led by a game high 23 points from Ezi Magbegor.
Magbegor has hit the ground running in the WNBL since returning from winning the championship with Seattle Storm in her WNBA debut this year.
But Flynn believed Magbegor was only just getting started.
“We will continue to see her develop and move forward for a long time – she has some great basketball ahead of her,” he said.
Meanwhile, Spirit coach Tracy York said the leadership of their Chemist Warehouse Opals star Tessa Lavey ensured morale was still good despite their frustrating season start.
“She is certainly inspirational and keeping everyone balanced,” York said.
“We have been in the majority of games, it has just been lapses. We need to get those four quarters together.”
Laine Clark is a freelance contributor to WNBL.basketball
Villawood Properties Bendigo Spirit v Deakin Melbourne Boomers
At Cairns Pop-Up Arena
Saturday 5 December 2020
4.00pm AEST / 5.00pm AEDT
LIVE on Fox Sports Ch 507, Kayo and the ABC primary channel plus ABC iview