Fire seek revenge with the Flames

October 18, 2017 | Townsville Fire news

The JCU Townsville Fire will get their first chance to extract revenge against the Sydney Uni Flames tomorrow night after being dethroned as the WNBL champions.

The Fire’s hopes of becoming just the third team to secure a WNBL three-peat were doused by the Flames, with Cheryl Chambers’ troops sweeping them in the semi-finals.

The Flames would go on to do likewise against Dandenong – the Fire’s opponent on Saturday in the Fox Sports broadcast game – and now the hosts are hellbent on evening the ledger.

“They obviously have a target on their back from winning the championship last year, and it’s probably nice for us not to be the ones with the big target on our back,” Fire captain Suzy Batkovic said.

“We’re definitely going to be chasing.

“The Flames are a quality team; they’re going to be tough and they pretty much have all their players back from last year.

“It’s been a tremendous start for us, we’ve won two and haven’t lost a game yet and I’d like to keep it that way.”

Having watched last week’s game from the bench, star import Sydney Wiese is poised to make her WNBL debut against the Flames, with the LA Sparks sharp-shooter training strongly during the week.

A first-round draft pick for the Sparks, Wiese is one of the most decorated long-range shooters in college history, finishing her career at Oregon State as the Pac-12’s all-time leader in three-point field goals made (373) at an incredible 41%.

In just her second WNBA game, Wiese exploded for the Sparks against Washington, draining 22 points including 6/10 three-point attempts against a Mystics unit containing former Fire guard Natasha Cloud.

“Off the court I feel good, but it’ll be nice to become a lot more familiar with what’s going on on the court,” Wiese said.

“It was good to see how fast we like to play and how physical it all is. To take it all in from the sidelines was really helpful just to wrap my head around what it’s going to be like for the season.

“We’ve got some really good players in the team and in the league so it’ll be fun to compete with that.

“What every team wants going into a season is to win a championship. Now seeing it for the first time, I know that it’s for real here, it’s legit.”

The Fire host the Flames at Townsville Stadium from 7pm on Thursday night.

Click here to pre-purchase tickets between the Fire and the Flames.