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Rd.1 WNBL19: Who will be #4

TOWNSVILLE, Melbourne and Canberra easily appear the most likely candidates for the WNBL's Final Four, but just which club will join them in the post-season is well-hidden ahead of tonight's tip-off.

Fans of any of the remaining five clubs can make a case for their own and this season, more than any in recent memory, injuries will play a critical role in determining the team most likely.

Canberra, Adelaide, Dandenong all start Season 2018-19 without a key player or two and can ill-afford to slip off the pace in what promises to be another very tight run to the finish.

Turn on your telly tomorrow to check out as the action of Round One bursts into full swing, starting with perennial arch rivals Canberra and Sydney tipping it all off tonight.

Here we go!


Canberra at Sydney


CANBERRA has an early chance to flex its newfound muscle against its perennial rival Sydney, regardless of who the Capitals still have on the injured list. For Sydney, the challenge is for Alex Bunton to continue on her Opals-selection form and Amanda Johnson to show she belongs. Tahlia Tupaea finally gets her chance to quarterback the Flames but runs into championship-winning recruit Kelly Wilson. The player to watch out for the most though is Kia Nurse, who should light up the Flames and start Canberra off with a key road win.







Adelaide at Perth

THE Lightning will run into a full-strength Lynx in Perth and will look for their running game to create a buffer against the home team. Perth boasts four Americans and the best of them, Asia Taylor, is MVP material. And Katie-Rae Ebzery is a combo-guard star who reinvented herself as a point guard and steered the Opals to a Silver Medal at the FIBA World Cup. With import centre Kayla Alexander sidelined, Adelaide's interior game looks vulnerable but it does have some great shooters such as Steph Blicavs. And Nia Coffey could be a WNBL superstar. Adelaide to surprise.

Bendigo at Melbourne

THE Spirit have had a great preseason preparation, just the tonic to catch championship favourite Melbourne while the Boomers are still settling in their new faces and Opals such as Jenna O'Hea, Cayla George and Steph Talbot.  If Bendigo can get the jump on Melbourne and force it into a game of catch-up, it may have the formula to pull off a road win. But with so much horsepower, the Boomers only need to get to full rev and virtually every team in the WNBL will be on notice. There's just too much at stake for the Boomers who should get the W despite a spirited test.

Dandenong at Townsville

IT is not inconceivable Dandenong could go into Townsville Stadium and skip out with a win. There's plenty of experience on the Rangers' roster and many players who have long histories together in highly-successful Vic junior state teams and national youth teams. But then there's this irresistible force of nature known as Suzy Batkovic who has reigned over the WNBL for the better part of the past decade and will be hellbent on ensuring her farewell season does not get off to a splutter at home. In pursuit of another championship, Townsville should start with a home win.

Oct 12

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