The final score may have been another narrow loss for the Deakin Melbourne Boomers, but on a day when Australia's most iconic women's basketball club celebrated its 33rd birthday yet another big crowd turned up at the State Basketball Centre.
In a contest that saw the lead change 11 times between the Boomers and SydneyUni Flames, a vocal crowd of 1,659 delivered an atmosphere worthy of any birthday party.
Once again the home team lacked size, but they certainly didn't lack fight. With less than a minute to play the game could have gone either way. Asia Taylor proved the difference in the end - Sydney's import delivering 28pts and 15rbs in a show-stopping individual performance.
Highlights on a busy afternoon included former 246-game Boomers legend Linda Brandt cutting a giant birthday cake before the game, Maddie Garrick starring in VicHealth's #ChangeOurGame campaign on the giant screen, a giant Dexter's Conga Line at three-quarter time that kept the kids entertained, along with the large crowd singing happy birthday during a time-out.
And, as they do after every home game, the Boomers then stayed on court for 45 minutes to meet all the fans.
"It was a really good day for the club, just one of those events where both teams delivered a great spectacle for the fans. The signing session after the game was amazing, just so many families out on court meeting all their favourite Boomers," said Boomers GM Justin Nelson.
"While it would have been the icing on the cake to deliver a win on our birthday, I think our passionate fans can really see bright times ahead, they can see what we're building and where we are going with the total package we try and deliver," added Nelson.
Next up for the Boomers is a double-header on the road against Adelaide and Perth, followed by a final home game on Saturday February 18 against Bendigo when the club will host a Past Players Night.