Penaluna returns to Melbourne with sights set on Rio

Former Australian Opal and Bulleen Boomer Elyse Penaluna has shed the recovery tag twice after suffering knee reconstructions on separate occasions and has now continued her determined pathway to make the national side for Rio 2016.


Penaluna has signed for the Melbourne Boomers for the upcoming 2015/16 WNBL season in a huge boost for the size department for the Victorian capital.

The former two-time WNBL champion, one with Bulleen and the other with previous club Bendigo Spirit, will hit the floor with a new feel after Penaluna herself wondered whether she would ever return to the hardwood.

"As soon as I did my knee (the second time) I had to sit down and think about what I wanted... The first thought was I would never play again and start a family and everything like that but as the months went on my desire came back." - Penaluna told The Age's Roy Ward

Penaluna has recently spent time in the nation's capital at the Centre of Excellence, while also spending some of her weekend's on the Spirit bench who she was contracted to.


For the Boomers, she fills a gaping hole in which Melbourne need to fill if they are to contend with last year's grand finalists Townsville and Bendigo.

Size seemed to play a large role in team success last season, with the Fire securing the WNBL crown on the back of Cayla Francis and Suzy Batkovic. While Bendigo's successful era is many thanks to the likes of Kelsey Griffin, Gabe Richards and Sara Blicavs.

Penaluna is poised to replace current Opals centre Natalie Burton, who is rumoured to have all but signed with hometown club, the West Coast Waves.