December 10, 2020 | WNBL news

A shock last round loss could be a blessing in disguise for UC Capitals ahead of the 2020 Chemist Warehouse WNBL Finals Series, the two-time defending champion’s Marianna Tolo says.

The Capitals appeared vulnerable ahead of Thursday’s Townsville clash with a pumped up Perth Lynx after being upset 84-71 by JCU Townsville Fire last weekend – their second loss in three games.

But the Capitals’ Opals star Tolo said the defeat may be just what her team needed as they looked to secure a top two finish – and a finals second chance – with two regular season games left.

The Capitals (8-3 record) are currently second on the ladder behind title favourites Jayco Southside Flyers (9-2) but also have Deakin Melbourne Boomers (8-3) breathing down their necks.

Asked if the Fire loss was a wake up call, Tolo said: “Yeah I think so. The Townsville game taught us that we still need to come in focused and ready to play.

“The loss could be a blessing in disguise. We won’t be taking these last couple of games lightly.”

The Capitals will be especially wary of Perth.

A last gasp Jade Melbourne three-pointer snatched a 73-70 win over the Lynx in their last meeting on November 26 in Cairns and Tolo knows Perth would love nothing more than to exact revenge and upset their top two plans.

“They will definitely be coming out with a point to prove and do what they couldn’t do first time around – we will have to be ready,” Tolo said.

“(But) I think that gives us more focus. We know we have to win this game to have any chance of a top two finish.

“We will try and take care of business and give ourselves the best possible chance coming into the finals.”

Perth (4-8 record) will draw the curtain on a frustrating season with the Capitals clash.

The Lynx miss out on the finals but will wonder what might have been.

They had a disrupted season lead-up when prized recruit Sami Whitcomb and starting centre Maddie Allen opting to miss the season for differing personal reasons.

The Lynx still claimed some big scalps in 2020 with wins over the Fire and Adelaide Lightning but were brought undone by failing to close out games.

Five of their eight losses were by seven points or less.

Asked to sum up their season, Perth coach Ryan Petrik said: “It’s been a bit like 2020 to be honest.

“But credit to the girls. To be 1-7 at one point in a hub season, the easy option would have been to give up but they have fought and scrapped.

“We have loved their grit and determination.”

Perth have been led by Opals Darcee Garbin and Katie-Rae Ebzery but one of the finds of the season has been Alex Sharp who has starred in her first WNBL season after years in the US College system.

“There’s a reason why we went so hard after her. People are starting to realise why – the kid is really good and she is only going to get better,” Petrik said.

Laine Clark is a freelance contributor to


Broadcast Details

Perth Lynx v UC Capitals

At Townsville Stadium

Thursday 10 December 2020

6.00pm AEST / 7.00pm AEDT

LIVE on Fox Sports Ch 507 and Kayo