The WNBL has imposed a two-game suspension on Melbourne Boomers star centre Liz Cambage following an incident with University of Canberra Capitals star import Mistie Bass on Sunday as per an official WNBL statement.
Cambage has been charged with "unduly rough play" after contacting Bass with her knee in what appeared to be a deliberate act. Cambage and the Boomers will have the opportunity to take an early guilty plea, which would see the penalty reduced to a one-game suspension. If the early guilty plea isn’t taken, a single member tribunal hearing will take place on Wednesday evening.
If Cambage chooses to adopt an early guilty plea, she would still miss a top of the table clash against the Townsville Fire on Thursday night.
According to Chris Dutton, the WNBL actually investigated two incidents that involved Cambage in the Boomers' convincing 96-66 round 7 victory over the Capitals
The first and most serious incident for which resulted in the suspension being handed down occurred in the second quarter. Cambage appears to deliberately target Bass with a knee to the back of her leg. Bass immediately reacts to the contact and displays obvious discomfort, and yet no foul call was made against Cambage at the time.
The second reported incident occurred early in the second half, with Cambage's arm swinging somewhat erratically that in turn makes apparent contact with Bass' face. Once again, no foul call resulted from the alleged contact. Cambage was cleared of no wrongdoing for the apparent contact made.
Bass was reportedly furious with Cambage and the two incidents immediately following the game, leading to the Capitals lodging a formal complaint with the league.
With the WNBL's marquee 'Cluster Round' this weekend, a two-game ban would see one of the biggest draw cards unable to take part. As it happens, the Boomers travel to Townsville on Wednesday night, and
The WNBL has adopted a similar match review process to that applied by the NBL and AFL. Cambage's actions in the second quarter were deemed to be "intentional, with high impact contact occurring to the body," with the penalty resulting in a two-game suspension.
Bass who was injured in the incident, told media in Canberra she was hopeful of playing against the Bendigo Spirit in their upcoming clash in Melbourne this weekend.
"Unfortunately right now I'm not allowed to say anything [about the incident] until the WNBL comes out with what they need to come out with. I'd be more than happy to talk about it after that," Bass said.
"...Every day [the injury] is getting a little bit better. It's just a really big bruise. I haven't had one like that before ... it was just the initial shock of it happening and then it felt like a cramp and a really tight pain.
"I couldn't use my leg at that moment but fortunately I was able to get back on the court and when you've got adrenaline helping, you don't feel the pain until later.
"I don't like to sit out any practice let alone games, so I'm pretty positive I'll be back this weekend. I do have to be careful...my trainer has said if I do too much too early I'll slow down the process."
Cambage has been an almost unstoppable force on court for the Boomers in her return to the WNBL this season. She leads the league in scoring with 22.58 points per game, while pulling down almost 10 rebounds per contest.
While missing up to two games may be deemed a suitable punishment for this indiscriminate act, Cambage's actions and behaviour continues to polarise the Australian basketball public.