WNBL: Batkovic joins the elite 300 in true form
In a true testament to her outstanding career, Suzy Batkovic dominated in her 300th WNBL game against the Canberra Capitals.
Image Credit: Townsville Fire
Despite a 73-67 loss, the 17th veteran to make it to the big 300 still managed a double-double of 23 points and 12 rebounds to go with 6 assists.
“It’s an accomplishment that I’m extremely proud of after commencing my career as a 15-year-old,” Batkovic stated to the WNBL.
Batkovic debuted in the historic AIS side that won the 1998-99 WNBL Championship with the likes of Lauren Jackson, Penny Taylor and Belinda Snell.
As a four-time WNBL champion, four-time WNBL Most Valuable Player and five-time WNBL All-star Five, Batkovic has earned herself a prized position in Australian basketball’s history books.
The Fire had a gallant effort against the Capitals, but a dominant Marianna Tolo (17 points, 8 rebounds, 2 steals) and Lauren Mansfield (15 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists) were there to spoil the party. A healthy contribution from Canberra’s entire list that made it to the floor gave them an edge over the Fire.
Sydney suffered a scare from the spirited Adelaide Lightning, but were lucky enough to escape with a 3 point victory at 77-74.
In a brilliant comeback game that would give Sydney a sigh of relief, Belinda Snell second top scored with 14 points with a healthy 31 minutes after her extended time off with injury.
Colleen Planeta and Samantha Logic continue to work wonders for Adelaide, as the Lightning too would breathe a sigh of relief at the sight of their veteran Laura Hodges making her way back onto the court and bringing in 14 points. Planeta finished on 18 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocked shots while Logic totalled 10 points, 5 rebounds and 10 assists.
Continuing to prove that you only need to win by the smallest of margins, Sydney backed it up the following day as they headed to Bendigo to succeed by just 3 points again.
Leilani Mitchell ran rings around the Spirit with 25 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals in a classy display, accompanied by Snell (11 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists) and Asia Taylor (8 points, 10 rebounds) who also gave solid contributions.
The Spirit relied on the magic of Kelsey Griffin and Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe, and despite strong efforts from both it wasn’t enough to loosen the hold Sydney had on the game from the start.
A successful road double header for the Flames now sees them in 2nd position, sitting on the same amount of wins as top-of-the-table Dandenong.
It was a classic cross town rivalry match as Dandenong hosted the Melbourne Boomers in a nail-biting overtime thriller.
The Rangers were celebrating their 25th anniversary in the presence of Aussie basketball legend Penny Taylor. The party continued as Dandenong took hold of the Boomers in overtime, outscoring them 17-5 to secure a 73-61 point win.
It was a case of running out of steam for the Boomers, whose valiant effort was led from the front by Brittany Smart (18 points) and Olivia Thompson (12 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists)
Rangers forward Ally Malott dominated from the inside all night with 24 points, 8 rebounds and 2 assists. The Boomers struggled to find an answer for her as she proved far too damaging. Accompanying Malott was Natalie Novosel, who provided some great support with 18 points.
Mallot’s dominant display awarded her Round 14’s Player of the Week, check out her highlights below:
Check out all the highlights from Round 14 below:
Round 14 preview:
Townsville Fire v Bendigo Spirit
The Fire will want redemption after a loss on Suzy Batkovic’s 300th in Round 14, but so too will the Spirit after a bitter 3 point loss at home. Will be interesting to see who turns it around after both their losses.
Suzy Batkovic v Gabe Richards
Adelaide Lightning v Dandenong Rangers
A seething Dandenong face the Lightning who provided the upset of the season two rounds ago. The Lightning have shown they aren’t to be underestimated but the Rangers have the top position to show their worth.
Colleen Planeta v Sara Blicavs
Sydney Flames v Perth Lynx
It will be an interesting clash at 2 and 3 face each other, Perth have had the luck of a break but Sydney seem to be on a winning streak.
Leilani Mitchell v Sami Whitcomb
Canberra Capitals v Bendigo Spirit
Bendigo have a tough double header ahead of them and the Capitals will prove no easier. A physical inside game to be had with Canberra needing a replica of their solid match against Townsville from Round 14.
Mikaela Ruef v Kelsey Griffin
Melbourne Boomers v Perth Lynx
The Boomers had a strong game against the Rangers, and will need that plus a tiny bit more to take on the Lynx at home.
Olivia Thompson v Carley Mijovic