Lightning and Caps ready to launch new Chemist Warehouse WNBL season
A far north Queensland festival of basketball tips off on Wednesday night in Mackay as the Adelaide Lightning and the UC Capitals light the wick of a new Chemist Warehouse WNBL season.
The Lightning, under coach Chris Lucas, are a vastly different side to the team which contested last year’s semi-final series against eventual runner-up Southside Flyers, while back-to-back champs Canberra have retained the core of its dominant group.
Chemist Warehouse Australian Opal Steph Talbot has replaced Nicole Seekamp as Lightning captain and is expecting new recruits Abigail Wehrung, Marena Whittle and Ally Wilson to play a big part in her side’s run-and-gun game.
“It’s exciting Round 1 is here. We’ve had a long pre-season, been fortunate to spend time together as a new group in Adelaide and are raring to go,’’ Talbot said.
“The Caps have won the past two championships and are always up there so first up this is a really good test for us with a young team. It’ll be a good challenge.”
Talbot believes a crucial match-up in the four spot looms between team mate Chelsea Brook and Caps champion Kelsey Griffin.
In a season which won’t feature imports, the Caps have farewelled championship stars Kia Nurse and Olivia Epoupa but are expecting young guns Maddi Rocci and Abby Cubillo to further stamp their mark on the competition.
Canberra has also added the experienced and versatile Mikaela Ruef, after VISA issues restricted her from suiting up last season, along with former Flames guards Tahlia Tupea and Britt Smart.
Win or lose, co-captain Griffin believes Canberra, who will go on to play Townsville later in Round 1, will be better for its opening hit out.
“I think it’s going to be a game that’s a good starting point. We’ll be able to assess where we’re at then make plans moving forward,’’ she said.
“There’s a lot of things that will be a learning curve and a lot of that will come offensively so the things we really want to make staples are rebounding, our defence and things that we can control.
“There’s going to be pre-game jitters and all of that kind of plays more to the offensive end, so it’s just telling the girls to relax and do the things we can do well which are rebounding and playing defence.”
Megan Hustwaite is a freelance contributor to WNBL.com.au
Limited tickets still available, all tickets must be purchased in advance. Purchase your seats HERE.
Adelaide Lightning vs UC Capitals
Wednesday November 11 2020
5pm AEST / 6pm AEDT
LIVE on Kayo