Townsville star has Fire in her belly

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - SPORT - GREG DAVIS

WHEN you are a five-time WNBL Most Valu­able Player, a four-time WNBL cham­pi­onship win­ner and a three-time Olympian, there is a good chance you are a straight shooter.

So Suzy Batkovic’s re­sponse to a ques­tion at the WNBL sea­son launch was no sur­prise.

The Townsville Fire star was asked who is the team to beat for the 2017-18 ti­tle.

Her em­phatic an­swer – “us’’.

The Fire claimed back-to­back WNBL crowns in the 2014-15 and 2015-16 sea­sons af­ter mak­ing the grand fi­nal in 2012-13 and 2013-14.

They were in the un­ac­cus­tomed po­si­tion of watch­ing last sea­son’s de­cider when Syd­ney Uni beat the Dan­de­nong Rangers in the show­piece se­ries.

The Fire be­gin their cam­paign against Mel­bourne on Oc­to­ber 7 and Batkovic said ex­pec­ta­tions were high in Townsville.

“I’m a lit­tle bit greedy when it comes to cham­pi­onships. You are al­ways play­ing to win,’’ Batkovic said.

“We’ve got a re­ally good cul­ture at our club. We are all on the same page.

“We have def­i­nitely re­cruited well, we’ve got great depth.

“At train­ing at the mo­ment, it’s tough. Ev­ery­one is fight­ing for court time which is go­ing to make us bet­ter.’’

Townsville have put to­gether a pow­er­ful ros­ter with Cayla Ge­orge re­turn­ing from the WNBA and Aus­tralian un­der-19 rep­re­sen­ta­tive Zitina Aokuso join­ing Ge­orge and Batkovic in the front court.

BULLISH: Suzy Batkovic.

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