Preview: regrouped and ready, the UC Caps enter the semi final series with confidence
- When: Thursday, 24 March at 9:30pm (AEDT)
- Where: Bendat Basketball Centre
- How to watch: Fox Sports, Kayo or ABC iView
The WNBL Semi-Final Series will tip off on Thursday night in an action-packed double header.
The UC Capitals will meet the Lynx where they’ll look to replicate their dominant performance delivered the last time they visited Perth.
Game 1 may not be do or die, but a win could ease the pressure and give the UC Caps a chance to end the Series early, avoiding an additional trip out West and maximising recovery time before the grand final.
The UC Capitals landed in Perth on Tuesday evening, giving the team 48 hours or so to recover from the travel, adjust to the time difference and squeeze in a practice session before tip off.
Perth are coming off a bitter loss to the Townsville Fire which cost them their top-of-the-table position after holding it for most of the season.
With the series split over the UC Capitals and home court advantage, the Lynx will be entering the semi-finals with confidence and a willingness to show they’ve learnt from those small but crucial lapses in their recent loss.
The WNBA import duo of Marina Mabrey and Jackie Young will be the greatest threats as the pair sit second and third as the league’s leading scorers, with Mabrey averaging 18.7 points per game and Young 18.1.
Former Capital Lauren Scherf has really stepped up this season, being a powerful defender standing at 196cm and coming third in the league for rebounds, averaging 10.7 per game.
The UC Capitals may have suffered their lowest scoring games of the season in Round 15 which also compromised their ladder position having started the week on top, but the team isn’t letting that define their season.
Kelly Wilson didn’t spare a thought for the uncharacteristic games, knowing what her team is capable of and what they’ve proved throughout the rest of the season.
“We didn’t end the season the way we would have liked to, but it’s a reset now. It’s finals time and anything could happen. We need to regroup and move forward and prepare for our first game on Thursday,” said Wilson.
Assistant Coach Kennedy Kereama said that the team has a lot of confidence knowing they can and have defeated the Lynx recently.
“Last week was not our best basketball, but we’ve proven time and time again that we can bounce back. The perfect example is going to Perth towards the end of our season undermanned and still getting a solid win.
“We’ll find ways. We have a group full of very experienced professionals and a great coach with years of finals and championship experience, so I think we’re in really good hands here.
“We pride ourselves on our defence and that’s something we want to prove to ourselves and our competition this week against Perth. We did a great job against them last time and the week before that against Southside. We know it’s in our DNA.”
Expect Kelsey Griffin and Wilson to show their veteran finals experience, with plenty of energy coming from the likes of Britt Sykes and Jade Melbourne.