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Spirit levelled: WNBL Rd1 Wrap, R2 Preview

BENDIGO and Sydney stare down the barrel of a 0-2 start to their WNBL seasons but the Flames, at least, can be confident of better days ahead.

To only succumb by three to Canberra in their opening round match-up strongly suggests - as many believe - Sydney is the "sleeper" this season which could creep up on the competition heavyweights.

Bendigo had a harder start against the defending champions who had Sara Blicavs, Abby Bishop and Bec Cole all enjoying 20-point-plus games.

It won't be much easier tonight at Bendigo when the Spirit host Melbourne Boomers, boasting one of the best lineups in the league.

Ezi Magbegor, Cayla George, Lindsay Allen, Tess Madgen ... Guy Molloy's stocks are fully laden.

The only X-factor working in the Spirit's favour is that Melbourne fronts up again this round, hosting Southside in the real "local" derby. Whether that may see them take the foot off the accelerator, only time will reveal.

Going in to Canberra after losing narrowly at home should give the Flames an abundance of confidence but the win and the torrid nature of securing that W also will play on the Caps' minds.

They should be better prepared this time around.

Adelaide hosts last year's runnerup Townsville at its new home at Lightsview and needs to get its season off to a promising start against coach Chris Lucas' former club.

SOUTHSIDE FLYERS 94 (Blicavs 27, Cole 24, Bishop 20, O'Hea 16; Blicavs, Bishop 11 rebs; M. Rocci 8 assts) d BENDIGO SPIRIT 83 (Lavey, Maley 15, Goulding 13, Boag, McKay 11, Garrick 10; Maley 14 rebs; Mitchell 5 assts) at The Aerodrome, Dandenong Stadium.

UNIVERSITY of CANBERRA CAPITALS 58 (Sykes 16, Griffin 12, Melbourne, 8; Griffin 12 rebs; Wilson 6 assts) d SYDNEY UNI FLAMES 55 (Watts 16, Froling 13, Mansfield 11; Purcell, Froling 8 rebs; Purcell 4 assts) at Qudos Bank Arena.

GOLDEN SHOT: Sara Blicavs jump shoots on her way to 27 points against Bendigo.

Dec 8

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