New Year’s Round sees Perth finally able to get their season underway

THE Christmas break is done, and the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) is back. Among this weekend’s matches, the Perth Lynx are finally getting their season underway. Border closures meant a delay the start to their season by about a month.

Both teams will be desperate to win this one, after only registering one win between them so far this season.

Sydney Uni are coming off three straight losses to the Capitals, Boomers and Fire, while the Bendigo Spirit beat the Boomers earlier this month but subsequently lost to them in the following fixture, as well as to the Flyers and Capitals.

These two sides played twice last season, and after a comfortable win to the Flames the first time around, things were a bit closer the second time around but the Flames still got the job done. If the Flames want any chance of winning they have got to keep Anneli Maley quiet. The Spirit star has been in fine form in the first month of the season, averaging 20 points and 14.5 rebounds per game.

For the Flames, Shyla Heal has been the one on fire, shooting an average of 16.7 points a game. Keely Froling has averaged 14 points a game and 7.3 rebounds a game too, so the Spirit are going to have to keep an eye on both of them in order to win.

Both these sides have had pretty ideal starts to the season, only dropping the one game each. For the Lightning it was first up against Townsville, but they were able to avenge the loss the following game by defeating Canberra. Melbourne on the other hand lost first up to Bendigo, but has since gone on a four match winning streak against Southside Flyers (twice), Bendigo and Sydney.

When these sides met twice last season, it was the Boomers who were victorious each time. With this in mind the Lightning will certainly be trying to ensure history does not repeat itself.

Stephanie Talbot been a star for the Lightning so far this season. Per game this season she has averaged 14 points, 12 rebounds and five assists. For the Boomers, Eziyoda Magbegor will be the one to watch out for, having an average of 14.8 points, 7.8 total rebounds and 3.2 assists per game this season.

Both the Fire and Capitals have had pretty ideal starts to the season, only dropping the one game each.

For the Fire, it was their most recent game to the Flyers, but before then they had beaten both Sydney Uni and Adelaide. For the Capitals, it was Adelaide that they lost to, but they beat Sydney Uni and Bendigo on either side of that loss. These two sides played twice last season, with the ledger sitting at one win apiece.

The Capitals are going to have to keep Monique Billings quiet in order to get the win. She has been averaging 19.3 points and 10.7 rebounds per game so far this season. Sug Sutton and Zitina Aokuso have both also been playing well for the Fire early on. Sutton has been averaging 12.5 points a game and nine assists a game. Aokuso on the other hand has averaged 12.3 points a game and 8.3 rebounds a game so far this season.

The one that the Fire are going to have to keep an eye on is Brittney Sykes. She has averaged 19.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 4.7 assists a game so far this season.

This weekend the Perth Lynx finally able to kick off their season. They finished seventh last season, and will certainly be hoping to make a climb up the ladder this season. 

Perth fans will get to see their new recruits take the court for the first time. These include the likes of former Sydney Uni Flame Lauren Scherf and WNBA pair Marina Mabrey and Jackie Young.

Throw in the likes of Darcee Garbin and Alex Sharp, and things will not be easy for Adelaide, who will be coming off a two-day break after having played the Boomers only a few days prior.

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